are so many homeschool books and products out there
that it is impossible for me to evaluate them all. Therefore,
I only review new products or products
that work well with The Checklist and
I do not accept advertisements. However, if you would like
your product to be considered for this Web site,
please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
in Alphabetically by title:
American History, Uniting America's Story, Piece by Piece by Celeste W. Rakes.
I first received Volume 1 of this curriculum, I thought
it was going to be just another history textbook. However,
I was pleasantly surprised! This one is unique and
worth considering for your children.
reader is excellent and the information is well presented.
I think students will enjoy the text. Each unit includes
easy-to-read text, illustrations of famous people and events,
maps, and a section on the impact of the unit's events
on our nation. The illustrations, however, are black and
white which makes it somewhat less interesting than a similar
book in color. Maybe a future edition will add color illustrations
I like the most is the activity book! Each unit includes
activity worksheets to accompany the text. The fun part
is that Celeste has included small images of famous people
and flags to cut out and paste on the worksheets. Visual
learners and your younger children will like this part
and it will help them to remember what they learned. The
worksheets also include a fill in the blank and multiple
choice quiz to check older student's memory, as well as
map work and additional ideas and resources for further
curriculum comes in three parts: The Student Reader,
a Student Activity Book, and the Teacher Guide with Answer
Key. Normally, I don't like having to purchase a separate
teacher book, but in this case, it's not that expensive
($16.95) and it is well worth purchasing. It includes a
lot of background information as well as additional activities
that will make multi-level teaching a lot easier. For instance,
in the lesson on the Revolutionary War, students will make
invisible ink secret messages, create a newspaper, make
candles, go on a nature hike to identify trees and animals,
learn how to fly and store a flag, and much more.
particularly recommend this to parents who have visual
learners and who have to teach multiple grade levels at
one time. The author recommends it to be used for grades
5-8, but I would not be afraid to use parts of it with
History Teacher's Book of Lists by Fay R. Hansen:
This 500+ page book is a must for anyone teaching
American history. You'll find copies of many primary
sources such as the Mayflower Compact, Bill of Rights,
and Articles of Confederation; profiles of major people
in history and government; timelines of events; and
facts related to economics, politics, health, crime,
and public education. Also included are listings of
American authors, musicians, historians, craftspeople,
and much, much more.
Keep it on your desk and you'll have a handy reference
guide that can be used for lesson planning or to make quizzes,
handouts, unit studies, and vocabulary lists. For example,
if you are doing a study on World War II, there is a list
of major battles, major weapons used, military casualties,
military leaders, which countries participated in the war,
major events, and America's relative economic position.
There is also a copy of the Atlantic Charter of 1941, FDR's
Address to the Nation, and a chronology of the development
of the atomic bomb. More than enough to help you teach
this topic and provide handouts to your students.
China, To the Great Wall and Beyond by
am extremely impressed with Ancient China, To the
Great Wall and Beyond by Judy Wilcox. Judy has created
a resource that is fun, easy-to-use, and chock full of
information about China (from ancient time to modern
day). It was written to be used with K-6 grade, but
I believe it would make a terrific supplement for 7-12
also. There is enough "meat" in
this unit that your teens will learn as much or more
about China from this than from most junior or senior
level textbooks. The best part is that they will have
fun doing it!
The unit is scheduled for a twelve week
period and is divided into daily lesson plans. Each lesson
includes a reading in the book and timeline information.
Projects are included with each lesson that involve research,
reading, composition, map work, art, music, science,
hands-on activities (crafts, models, recipes, etc), and
field trip ideas.
lessons begin with the geography of China, then progress
through history by dynasty, and conclude with information
about modern China. At the end of the book, there is
a test for the unit as well as a glossary, a list of
books for further study, timeline figures, and maps.
moment I picked up this book, I was "hooked." I
read the book cover to cover, wishing the whole time
that I was still homeschooling or that I had had a chance
to be exposed to this kind of learning when I was a young
student. The information is presented logically and simple
enough that anyone can understand it. I particularly
liked how Judy integrates Christianity into the curriculum
and includes projects that has students compare the religions
of China to that of Christianity.
I can't recommend this
unit enough. Ancient China has a fascinating history
and plays an important role in our world today. You will
be doing your children an injustice not to expose them
to the history of China. Now, there is a resource that
will help you do just that! And when you are done, you
can check this off your copy of The Checklist.
I have added an update to The
Checklist to incorporate
this unit. Those of you who already own The Checklist
can add it to your notebook. Those of you who don't
can view a sample here: Ancient China (updated September
History Portfolio & Timeline by Barbara
the years I ran a support group, we would have portfolio
night, where everyone brought their portfolio to show
off. Of course, the winners were always the ones who
were scrapbookers! Their portfolios were beautiful,
colorful, and exciting while ours were dull, practical,
and boring. Oh, if I had only know about Barbara's
book, I could have given them a run for the money!
It may not be scrapbooking, but when finished, it
IS a work of art!
has put together a mini portfolio for history. She
has designed each page so it's neat and orderly and
then gives you all the ideas you need to complete the
boxes. The assignments include reports, narration,
vocabulary, copy work, and timelines. You can look
at her website for color pictures of sample portfolios
created these resources to be used "by
an individual, child or adult, and will become a unique
record of the student's "journey through history",
a beautiful history book of the student's own making,
something to refer to later as the student's interests
grow and expand, and above all, something to treasure."
recommend this resource for those of you who have
children who are Read/Write and Visual
if they love to make booklets) and for moms who would
like help in creating a portfolio of your child's history
my review of Shukin's Ancient
History Portfolio Junior on my How
Do I Teach . . . ? blog.
and the Magic Picture Frame by Michael
an innovative book that will stimulate your child's
interest in history. Although written for ages 12 and
up, this can easily be used as a family read-aloud
for younger children. Your child will be transported
back to the time of important historicbal events using
real photographs of "Anthony" superimposed
on historical photos of the people he visits including
Charles Lindbergh, Lou Gehrig, Thomas Edison, and Dr.
Jonas Salk. While on these "visits," Anthony
learns about the Apollo Moon Mission, The Great Depression,
Immigration, Polio Vaccine, WWII, the Holocaust, and
more. Real quotes from real people make the story come
so alive that you almost believe Anthony is there!
Included in the book is a
list of books, movies, museums, and music related to
each topic as well as footnotes that are lessons in themselves.
I also like that the author chose to include references
to God and Bible scripture rather than make this "politically" correct.
author, Michael Class, wrote the book to encourage "young
people to become productive, honest, thoughtful, moral
citizens—and to contribute in a positive way to
American society and the world." He has done an
excellent job of fulfilling this mission. I highly recommend
this book for everyone, even adults.
in History: Discovery Through Creativity
As most of you know, I'm a big fan of hands-on projects.
They make learning fun and help your students retain what
they have learned.
just discovered a new resource for hands-on learning
called Art in History: Discovery Through Creativity.
In the words of the publisher, these kits are "historic
replicas of art that students decorate to reflect the time
period and the culture from which it originated."
Available kits are from time periods ranging from 3,000
BC to present day, making them perfect for unit studies!
For instance, if you're doing a unit on the French Revolution,
you can create a Limoges Box; a unit on Ancient Rome -
an oil lamp; a unit on Romanov Russia - a Faberge-style
reviewed a piece from the Civil War era - a southern
Face Jug, a ceramic tradition started by African slaves
during the 1840s. The ceramic was a large piece, about
5" high and 5" wide.
All the stains, paints, brushes and sponges needed were
included. The directions were simple and easy to use.
Each kit may be purchased separately for $8.49 each, plus
shipping. Apparently, the lesson plans are no longer available,
which is a disappointment. However, the kits can be used
with any lesson plan.
If you have children who love art, these kits will be
made a great discovery at the OCHEC Homeschool Convention
- a Bible study resource called Balancing the Sword.
So many times, parents ask me what they should use
for Bible study and I usually tell them - the Bible!
I know that seems obvious but parents are so used
to doing curriculum for everything that they think
they need a curriculum for studying the Bible. Unfortunately,
Bible curriculums are usually structured around someone
else's theology or philosophy so it's hard to hear
what God is saying to you personally.
the Sword is different. You simply read a chapter
in the Bible and then refer to Balancing the Sword
for questions about that chapter. You must also read
the cross references listed to find all the answers.
The cross references follow the theme of one verse
throughout the Bible. By time you get done reading
everything, you've learn so much more about the topic
and all through reading the Word, not someone's commentary.
it's amazing what you learn!
instance, in the first chapter of Genesis, I learned:
God created light here on earth. There is no sun
in heaven - He is the light.
2. Night time is the beginning of the Jewish day.
We once walked in darkness but now we are in the
3. God gave stars as signs for seasons, days, and
years. These will remain as long as the earth remains,
but will disappear at the Day of the Lord. A star
was used to show the location of Jesus at His birth.
Man uses stars to interpret the weather, but most
are unable to interpret the signs of the times.
4. God wants us to be fruitful, multiply, fill the
earth, and subdue it using its vast resources in
the service of God and man. God gives dominion to
whom He chooses for His purposes.
are two volumes. Each of the two volumes cover all
66 books of the Bible but with different questions
so you can go through the Bible two times using the
two books. You can do it from Genesis to Revelation
or start anywhere in the Bible that you want to.
Although it is based on the KJV, it does not seem
to require that you use that version. I use the Amplified
and The Message and had no problem.
are given permission to make copies of the questions
for your own family so you can give each child a blank
sheet of questions to answer. (I would probably do
this orally as a family - maybe once in a while writing
the answers to keep in my portfolio as records.)
it out. This might be just what you are looking for!
See some sample pages here: http://www.balancingthesword.com/PDF_Files/Samples_of_Both_Volumes.pdf
Numbers by Katherine A. Loop.
you want to know what homeschool graduates are doing,
just look at the number of books being published by
them! Beyond Numbers, written by homeschool graduate
Katherine Loop, is another one that I recommend.
Several years ago, I read a book called, Mathematics: Is God Silent? by James Nickel. It was so inspiring
and informative that I began recommending it to everyone
I could. However, it's not an easy read and most people
just couldn't take the time to digest it. When I learned
that Katherine had written a book which included a
simplified version of a portion of Nickel's book, I
was extremely anxious to read it.
She didn't disappoint me! Katherine's
excellent book is easy to read. It will not only help
you understand God's purpose for math and how math
testifies of God, but it will also give you some practical
suggestions for implementing what you learn into your
homeschool program. In addition, she rates current
math curriculums as to how well they present math in
the context of God's Word and includes a sample idea
notebook for using math in your daily lives. Congratulations,
Katherine, on a job well done! For more information
or to order, check her website.
Big What Now Book of Learning Styles by
This is my new “Favorite Homeschool Book.” Everyone
in education should have a copy. Here’s why:
1. It explains learning styles and the problems of labeling
children with any system
2. It shows you how to use multiple
learning styles to teach your children – the best
way to learn!
3. It provides hundreds of ideas for teaching your children
using all the senses. The ideas by themselves are worth
the price of the book.
This is not the kind of book you read once. Instead, you
need to keep it someplace handy where you will read, reread,
and try out the ideas one at a time. As you discover activities
that work for your child, mark them for future use and
try some more.
The book is divided into sections: Section one explains
learning styles and how to use the book. Section two contains
ideas for spelling, writing, math, history, geography and
science, as well as one chapter that provide review ideas
for any subject.
Activities range from textured writing and jump rope spelling
to singing the elements and learning the planets by rotating
around trees. A bonus unit study on geography is included
to demonstrate how to teach using a book or movie as the
basis for your study.
There are ideas for all grades from
K-12 and many can be used for every grade. By using this
bound to find a way to reach that child who doesn’t
seem to be learning, as well as enrich the learning of
those who are already well on their way. I consider this
an essential resource for homeschoolers. It would benefit
classroom teachers as well, as most of the ideas can be
used in a classroom.
For more information, check Barnier’s
Web site at http://www.opengifts.org/.
101 by Wes Olson.
and auditory learners are going to LOVE this.
As a matter of fact, Biology 101: Biology
According to the Days of Creation, developed
by Wes Olson, is going to be enjoyed by the whole
topics covered in this 4 disc set include Defining
Life and Life Classification, Plants, Aquatic Creatures,
Avian Creatures, Land Animals, Mankind and Genetics.
It also includes a printable 114-page guidebook
and a 12-page "Course Accreditation Program."
what I liked: I loved the beautiful videos; the
animated graphs, charts and illustrations; the
background music was pleasant and added to the
learning experience. The host (also Wes Olson)
was an excellent speaker and kept my attention
with clearly defined definitions, anecdotes, and
interesting facts. During the plant segment, he
takes the viewer to a variety of places to study
plants: the bakery to learn about grains, a restaurant
to learn how algae is used to make ice cream and
salad dressing, and the forest to watch a forester
drill a tree ring sample to find out the age of
a tree. He also offers memory tips like learning
that stamen ends with "men" so it's the
male part of the plant, and he shows how plants
are used in scripture to illustrate spiritual truths.
The animations are excellent and easy to learn
from so everyone in the family will benefit from
watching the videos.
I didn't like: There is no real lab work included
to speak of, only a few simple projects. The "accreditation
program" is not adequate for students going
to college or entering any science-related field.
I recommend supplementing the curriculum with additional
research, composition, and lab work. The guidebook
did not include much more than what is included
on the videos, so it's not really that helpful.
Perhaps this is a feature they will improve in
I liked the videos themselves so much, I highly
recommend them as the foundation for a biology
course or a unit study for all ages. You could
teach topic by topic as in a unit study and use
the videos as the
"meat." Simply add additional reading,
research, composition, and lab to suit, depending
on grade level, interests and abilities. Much of
the extras could be found on the Internet for free.
The cost of Biology 101 is only $69.95/set, a full
year's course that can be used by your entire family.
You can't beat that!
Maps of World History - Review
Maps of World History by Terri Johnson (Knowledge
Quest). This resource will help you teach the geography
of the world to your children in grades 1-12. You can
use it as a stand-alone map study, along with a unit
study, or as a supplement to a textbook. There are four
books available: The Ancients (5000 BC - 400 AD), The
Middle Ages (400-1600), The New World (1600-1850), and
The Modern World (1850-2004). The complete set includes
lesson plans and maps that cover the time period from
5000 BC to 2004 and permission is given individual purchasers
to reproduce the maps for noncommercial, individual use.
lesson plans include instructions for completing the
map exercises and several questions to answer. Your children
may have to research the answers in an atlas, a history
book, or on the Internet. Doing so will help them learn
important information about the country or historical
event being studied. As Terri says in her book, "It
only makes sense to study geography alongside history.
In history, we learn about times, places, and people. Each
aspect of historical study is important in its own right,
but they cannot be studied exclusively of one another.
For example, when you study the Norman Conquests, you learn
that it took place between 1066 and 1087 AD and that it
was the Normans of France who crossed the English Channel
to conquer Britain. After reading about this event in history,
why not have the student look at a map or globe to find
out where it took place? Better yet, have him label and
color a map drawn specifically of that region and for that
time period in history. When children have visual cues,
it helps to cement fact into their minds."
I LOVE the CD version! It includes everything in the
book version, but is in pdf format. (You will need the
latest version of Acrobat Reader to use it. This is free
software that you can download off the Internet.) What
I love about the CD is that it is convenient and stores
easily. You simply insert the CD, open the file to the
Index, click on the chapter you want to study, and you're
instantly there! Now, you can print out the lesson plan
and the maps you need for the day's lesson and then put
the CD back on the shelf. How easy can it get?!
For those of you who like to put together your own course
of study, this resource is a must! It will go exceptionally
well with The
Checklist. It's in timeline sequence, as
is The Checklist. As you cover the history portion of The
Checklist, you can use this resource for your children's
map studies. After they complete their study, check it
off on The Checklist as a record of what your children
I highly recommend this resource! Also available from
Knowledge Quest is Blackline
Maps of American History which
includes 80 maps of US history (America's founding and
development) as well as historical maps that depict battles
and expansion, etc. and state maps which include capital,
date of statehood, state bird and flower, and other important
facts. I haven't seen this one, but it should be just as
to the Nation by
Dr. John Slade.
few days ago, I received a 721 page book called, "Bootmaker
to the Nation" by Dr. John Slade, to review. My
first thought when looking at the enormous tome, was, "Fat
chance I'll get around to reading this." I dropped
it on my coffee table and forgot about it. Later that
evening, I picked it up and started ruffling through,
wondering who I could give it to to review for me! However,
having nothing pressing to do at the moment, I began
reading the first chapter. I was immediately hooked!
The book is historical
fiction set at the time of the American Revolution, 1763
to 1783. The story is told from the point of view of
a London boy named Benjamin and an American girl named
Genevieve. Dr. Slade begins the story in London where
Benjamin, an 18-year old cobbler's son, is kidnapped
and taken aboard the Lively, a British frigate, to be
pressed into His Majesty's navy. During the trip over
he is forced to become a topman where he must climb to
the top of the ship's mast to furl and set the sail.
This whole section kept me biting my nails! After he
lands, he is then forced to learn to become a soldier
for the Redcoats. His only goal, however, is to escape
and get back to London.
The story then takes us
from Benjamin's story to Genevieve's story. I don't want
to say much more about the plot because that's what kept
me hooked! And while I was hooked, I learned about each
of the battles of the Revolution, the weapons that were
used, the people involved, and why we fought the war.
This was much better than a history textbook!
Dr. Slade's goal
in writing the book is to teach us to "love
American history, understand our nation's first war,
meet our Founding Fathers as people, not as wooden heroes,
and look to the future with an educated eye." He
definitely fulfills this goal. I highly recommend this
for 9th graders and up. It's available at local bookstores.
me begin this review with some facts: My maiden name
is Edwards. My favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice.
I've read every Agatha Christie mystery written and
I love Earl Grey tea. So, how could I not love Cozy
Grammar! Cozy Grammar, produced by Splashes from the
River, is a video teaching resource. Splashes from
the River produces several video courses that teach
basic grammar, intermediate grammar, punctuation, and
essay writing. This review relates to the Basic Cozy
The main character in this video is the author,
Marie Rackham, an active, full-of-life, senior citizen
and retired school teacher who lives in British Columbia.
In her preface, the author says, "I wanted
to get out of the classroom - to present grammar in
an everyday setting. The coziness of a home, the familiarity
of a garden, the fascination of a beach, and the ever
changing moods of the Pacific Coast weather combined
to make a stimulating, but non-threatening, setting
for teaching a potentially dry and boring subject."
I can assure you that she did
exactly that. She used the beautiful setting of her home
in the Pacific-Northwest to teach basic grammar skills.
For instance, in the first lesson, she teaches about
the kinds of sentences while welcoming you into her home
and drinking tea. In the second lesson, she teaches about
subjects and predicates with a demonstration of chopping
firewood, building a fire, and then relaxing in front
of it. She illustrates nouns by having a dinner party
with friends. She uses name plates to teach personal
nouns; she sets the table to show common nouns; she serves
the meal while teaching collective nouns, indefinite
nouns, pronouns, etc.
I thoroughly enjoyed
her slightly English accent, her somewhat "stuffy" English
ways, the beautiful scenery, and the background music
consisting of piano compositions from composers such
as Bach, Chopin, and Beethoven. The experience was
pleasant and relaxing, as well as informative. After
viewing each segment, there is a worksheet to complete
that reinforces what has been taught, as well as tests
to be given as needed.
a few segments that may bother some Christian homeschooling
families. One is the segment where Marie is having a
dinner party and she pours red and white wine in her
guests glasses. The other is when she uses a buddha and
yin/yang symbol to talk about adjectives. These incidents
are brief and I think so minor to the program that they
shouldn't present a problem for most families, no more
than seeing them in a TV ad or at the mall. I would use
these segments as talking points, if desired.
I highly recommend this series for children who
are visual and auditory
learners. I would begin the Basic
Grammar course with children who are reading fluently
and ready for formal grammar instruction. The course
is simple to use and is an enjoyable way to learn grammar,
especially for those who dislike the traditional textboook
I think most teenagers are will think this series is
a little too "cheesy" for them.
I don't believe you'll find many of them volunteering
to watch it. However, I have an idea! Why not assign
your older teen to watch it with your younger child to "help
him" learn grammar. That way your teen can save "face" and
it would give you time to work one-on-one with another
child or do housework while this is going on!
for this company is that they should create additional
sets of Cozy Grammar with new actors and call them, "Wild
West Grammar" for the western folks
and "Shopping Mall Grammar" for the metropolitan
type. That way everyone can enjoy watching them as
much as I did! For pricing and more information, log
onto to their website at: www.splashesfromtheriver.com.
and Crafty Writing by
Karine Bauch and Jan May.
and Crafty Writing is just what you need to
help your visual and kinethetic students
learn to write. The Christian-based program offers
twelve, one-hour lessons that will teach your student
to write a fable, a news story, and a short story.
With each lesson, the student not only learns the
techniques of writing, but he or she also creates
a craft project to supplement the lesson. This
is where the curriculum shines!
For instance, the lessons on Writing a Narrative (short
story) begin with learning about theme and setting.
The students learn to describe the time and place for
their story by completing a worksheet that guides them
through the process. I particularly like the way the
author incorporates vivid adjectives into the lesson.
After completing this lesson on theme and setting,
the student creates a thematic pencil holder to further
emphasize the theme element. Subsequent lessons
work on creating characters, plot (conflict,
complications, climax, and conclusion), dialogue, great
beginnings, and title selection, each with additional
craft projects to make them really fun!
Other lessons in the book include creating a newspaper,
complete with clip art to cut out and use for illustrations
and writing a fable in a student-created My Treasure
notebook. Each lesson takes about one hour to
This curriculum makes a great summer project,
or use it to teach specific writing skills during the
year, such as those found in The
Checklist, page 130-131
(Writing Project Ideas). For more information or to
order, check their Web site.
Thru History America with
produced by David Barton and Nita Thomason. It describes
itself as "cutting
edge, entertaining, fast-paced curriculum that
teaches the history of our nation from a Christian
worldview" and it generally lives up to its
in the curriculum is a DVD and a student workbook
that focus on eight historical figures: Benjamin
Franklin, Dr. Benjamin Rush, George Washington,
Benjamin Banneker, Haym Salomon, Abigail Adams,
Noah Webster, and John Quincy Adams.
segment involves watching a color, video presentation
and then completing a section in the workbook. The
video presentation is hosted by Dave Stotts who drives
around in a Hummer as he teaches the subject. The
presentation transitions back and forth from the
host (sometimes dressed in historical costume and
filmed on location) to a narration over drawings,
artwork, or animated graphics. The host is witty
and interjects a bit of humor here and there, such
as wearing hideous-looking false teeth, to make
it more interesting for kids.
workbook includes information about each person's
life, as well as student activities which range
from research and writing assignments to mock simulations
and group discussions. Other activities include
puzzles and poetry memorization as well as questions
to be answered after each chapter.
recommend this resource for 6th grade and up, although
younger children may enjoy the video. In addition
to being a stand-alone curriculum in character
education, it will also make a great resource for
an American history unit study or to enrich a traditional
American History curriculum. It is not a stand-alone
American History curriculum.
curriculum will appeal to Visual, Auditory, and Read/Write
learner. There is not much here for the Kinesthetic
learner but it could certainly be used along with
hands-on projects that you add yourself.
best part of the curriculum is that it is Bible-based
and encourages good character development. The focus
is on each person's achievements and how each one
served because of his/her faith in God. The activities
encourage the students to analyze and imitate these
good character traits. There are not too many resources
out there that do this well, but here is one that
homeschool kit, which includes the DVD and the workbook,
is $49.99. You are given permission to copy the workbook
for classroom use so there is no need to buy a separate
workbook for each of your children. Contact: www.dthamerica.com for
more information or to order.
homeschool moms that I know are not particularly fond
of teaching science. I guess it's a girl thing! But
today, there are so many great resources that make
teaching science easier that it should become more
and more "girl" friendly! Here's one of those
resources: The Elements published by EDGEucation Publishing.
This resource is a fun way to teach your children about
the 109 elements. Your children will be introduced
to each element through a funny character to color
and a short bio. The workbook includes test sheets
and stickers to reinforce what is learned. A great
introduction to the elements for all ages. Also available
is The Elements Flash Cards. Colorful flash cards help
children to memorize the names and facts about each
of the 109 elements. For more info, check out their
Creation with Astronomy by
are so blessed to have curriculum like this available
to you! As I read through this textbook, I got so
excited about teaching it that I forgot my kids were
grown! (No, I don’t want to teach someone else’s!)
This is the curriculum I dreamed about when my children
were young. It’s interesting, fun, easy-to-use,
and best of all, teaches so much more than traditional
like it because:
is Christian-based and accurate scientifically.
For instance, in the unit on Mars, I read that
giant meteors hit Mars, which sent pieces of Mars
flying into space. Some of these pieces actually
landed on earth. I knew this, but this I didn’t
know: In the same way that giant meteors sent pieces
of Mars to earth, there is a possibility that these
meteors sent pieces of earth to Mars. So if they
do find life on Mars, there is an explanation!
is interesting to read. This could be used as family
reading so all can enjoy or as independent reading
for upper elementary grades. The writing is not
full of jargon that makes many science textbooks
so dull and hard to understand. Jeanne writes so
that anyone can understand it. She even makes you
laugh now and then!
is fun! After you read the lesson, there are oral
questions to answer, writing assignments, and hands-on
projects such as making a rocket or a compass.
The projects are easy to do; the supplies needed
truly are “household products,” and
there is a complete listing of supplies needed
in the front that you can print out as a shopping
only complaint I have is that it is out of date.
It was published in 2004. With science, you need
constant updates. However, she has remedied this
by including a Course Web site where you can get
updated information, corrections to the text, links
to other interesting Web sites that will enhance
learning, a printable notebook template for the kids
to complete (love this!), and even more activities
to do! Maybe out of date isn’t too bad!
Exploring Creation with. . . series currently includes Exploring
Creation with Botany, Exploring Creation
with Zoology (Volume 1 covers Flying Creatures,
Volume 2 covers Swimming Creatures, and Volume 3
covers Land Animals - all following the seven days
Creation with Botany follows the same framework
as the others, but some of the unique features
are a focus on Latin words, an introduction to
careers in botany, and an introduction to taxonomy.
There is also a printable notebook template available
and many fun activities!
Creation with Zoology again follows the same
format as above. There is also a printable notebook
template and a set of printable flash cards available
for Volume 1, which is the volume I have for review.
Volume 1 introduces the field of zoology and Binomial
Nomenclature. This course thoroughly covers birds
and insects. Some of the fun activities include
a Nature Scavenger Hunt, making your own field
guide, building a bird feeder, mapping bird migration,
making an ant farm, and raising butterflies.
those of you who like the work already done for
you, I can’t think of a better way to teach
science in the elementary grades than by using
this series of books. HIGHLY recommended.
the World of Mathematics by John Hudson Tiner.
I was taking College Algebra last semester, I picked
up the book, Exploring the World of Mathematics,
to read in order to supplement my understanding of
math. Great choice! Not only did I learn more about
mathematic principles but I learned more about the
history of math, how math applies to everyday life,
and even how math is used in scriptures!
I suggest that sometime during your child's 5th-8th
grade years, you go through each chapter with him -
maybe as a summer course or one day a week on Friday.
Most kids will like the book, too, as it teaches them
how to solve logic problems that can fool their friends!
Like this one: Have your friend secretly choose a number
from one to ten. Tell him to add six to the number,
double the results, and divide his answer by four.
Next subtract half of the original number. When he
is done, you can tell him what his number is 100% of
the time. You'll have to read the book to find out
World History and Exploring American History by Ray
World History comes in two volumes: Part I
- Creation through the Middle Ages and Part
II - The Renaissance to the Present. These are
huge, spiral-bound volumes (900+ pages) that are created
for use in high school but could be adapted for use
with all your children in a multi-level setting.
companion volume In Their Words,
Original Documents, Poetry, Stories, and Hymns from
World History is one
of my favorite parts of the Exploring World History
curriculum. In this volume, Mr. Notgrass has compiled
a selection of "original resources from world
history that range from the Code of Hammurabi around
1750 BC to speeches by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
It includes significant documents, speeches, excerpts
from books, poems, short stories, fables, and fairy
tales. A special feature are many hymns from 200 AD
to the twentieth century."
example, during the lesson on the French Revolution,
you'll be reading A Tale of Two
Cities as a family read-aloud
which you started at the beginning of the unit. During
this particular lesson, you will also read 'The French
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen' from In
Their Words. I like the way Mr. Notgrass incorporates
historical documents with historical fiction, the best
of both worlds - your kids will enjoy learning!
American History comes in two huge volumes
also (700+ pages): Volume I - Columbus to Reconstruction
and Volume II - Late 1800s to the Present. Again these
could be used for several years in a multi-level environment.
In addition to the American History textbooks, you
will also read from A Documentary History
of the United States which includes documents,
speeches, and letters from American history, The
World's Greatest Speeches, and
100 Great American Poems.
feature I like in both curriculums is the writing
assignments. For example, during the lesson on The
New Deal in Exploring American History, you will
read the lesson in the textbook, read Franklin Roosevelt's
Inaugural Address in The World's Greatest
Speeches, begin To Kill
A Mockingbird, and work on a writing assignment
from a list of choices (example: Do some research and
write a two-page biography of Franklin and Eleanor
Roosevelt.) You would have to adapt this assignment
for younger children - perhaps using the "Famous
Person" form on
The World History curriculum also includes a Nation
Project assignment where your student chooses one
country on which to research and write throughout
the course of the study along with or instead of
the other assignments. Grammar points are also included
with each lesson, but this will not take the place
of a grammar curriculum. It is a good review, however.
text of both curriculums is written in a prose style
that is easy to read, similar to the Apologia Science
style. The World History text is easier on the eyes
as it is larger print; however, the print on the
American History is adequate for you younger folks!
Black and white photos and maps are interspersed
throughout the text to add interest. The only thing
that could make this better (however more expensive)
would be color.
those of you who use tests and quizzes, he offers an
optional Quiz & Exam Book for each
curriculum. I highly recommend purchasing these also,
even to those of you who do not use tests, as they
are wonderful resources for discussion questions after
literature list in both curriculums is excellent;
however, some of it is too difficult for primary-aged
children. If you are teaching all grade levels, you
may want to substitute something else for family
reading when the assigned book is not appropriate
for your younger children. Then have your older children
read the assigned reading on their own.
lessons are also included, along with questions related
to the reading. This curriculum is written from a
Christian point of view which makes it especially
good for families who want to incorporate Bible with
their history studies.
those of you with high school students, this could
be used as a self-directed study for students who are
motivated to work on their own.
of these curriculums would be excellent resources
to use along with my Multi-level
Planning Guide for History.
Figures of Ancient Times by
you have a child who enjoys putting on plays or making
moveable action figures, you HAVE to get this resource!
The book includes 20 figures to cut, color and assemble.
You can then use the figures to tell stories of ancient
cultures including Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China,
Greece and Rome. A brief biographical note explains a
little about each character to get you started. Cathy
is a published airbrush artist and these figures are
EXCEPTIONAl! Figures in motion Web
of a Child.
you looking for a quick, easy & fun
way to teach history and science? Then check out the
kits at Hands of a Child. Each kit becomes a colorful,
lap book made of file folders and construction paper
that illustrates what your child has learned during
the unit. Each kit comes with a lesson plan
and printable masters. You supply paper, file folders,
brads, and glue. All you have to do is copy
the masters, cut out, and then have your children
complete the lessons. You can even buy a kit already
printed - all you do is cut out and teach!
The lessons are written from a Christian perspective
and include biographies, literature, state history, science,
and history. Topics range from the Human Body to Wireless
Communication to the French Revolution. Each lesson is
multi-level so you can use it, as is, for several grade
levels or you can adapt it for PreK-12. All of the newer
kits come with a study guide which gives you all the
factual information you need to complete the lesson as
well. For the older kits, you will need to research the
factual information yourself using a textbook, encyclopedia,
or the internet.
example, In the North Carolina State history unit, your
child learns state facts, geography, climate, government,
economy, people, religion, important dates, major cities,
colleges and universities, wildlife, and vocabulary of
the state through reading of the text included. They
reinforce this learning by completing "projects" that
go with each lesson and are added to the folder as
they progress. When completed, the folder
is easy to store and makes great "memory
book" of your child's school years.
These kits are
perfect to use along with The
Checklist and highly recommended
for the Read/Write and Visual
Learner or any child who likes
to make booklets, color, cut out and paste. To see
samples, prices, and how to order, please check the
Math Projects With Real-Life Applications
by Judith A.
Muschla and Gary Robert Muschla.
is a must-have resource for all home school families! The book includes 60 lesson plans that reinforce math
concepts and make learning math interesting and fun.
Most important, it gives students a reason for learning
lessons easily integrate into other class work including
science, social studies, language arts, music, art, sports,
recreation, and life skills. Itís perfect for those who enjoy doing
was written for students in grades 6-12; however, it
can be adapted to younger grades depending on interests
I would use it in a home school setting:
school parents can skim through most of the introductory
materials that addresses classroom strategies. However,
be sure to read over pages 24-42, which includes directions
for writing in the math class, an outline of the basic
writing process, ideas for using the Internet in math
class, and assessment guidelines and forms.
each lesson discusses group activities and oral presentations,
itís very easy to adapt these lessons
to a home school setting. The projects can easily be done
individually and written reports are sufficient. If you
choose to have your child do an oral presentation, he or
she can perform for family members and friends or in a
support group or co-op setting.
would recommend using the lessons in this book, as needed,
as part of a unit study; on a once-a-month or once-a-week
basis instead of a regular math and composition class;
or as needed to work on a particular math concept.
of the lesson plans included are:
Math and Science: What is the Weather?, Designing a Flower
Math and Social Studies: A Great Mathematician, Creating
a Scale Map
Math and Language: Fictional Numbers-Writing a Story,
Rating Math Web Sites
Math and Art: I Wanna Be Like Escher, Designing a Quilt
Math and Music: Numbers and Songs, The Math in Music
Math and Sports: Choosing a Membership Plan at a Health
Club, Comparing Sports Superstar
Math and Recreation: Going on Vacation
Math and Life Skills: Making a Budget, Buying a Car,
The Costs of Pets
lesson: The Geometry and Art of Architecture
are directed to do research at the library and online
to find examples of interesting architecture. A suggested
list of buildings is included or you might select a structure
that is related to a topic you are studying, such as
a castle for medieval history or the Eiffel Tower for
the country of France. Students are to examine their
structures for examples of geometry such as angles, polygons,
three-dimensional shapes, symmetry, and parallel or perpendicular
lines. They are to draw the structure on poster paper
and then label the geometric forms. Finally, they are
instructed to write a report about the selected structure,
which includes background information on the building
as well as a summary of the geometry it represents.
lesson: The Benefits of Recycling
this lesson, students are instructed to research the
benefits recycling offers to people, companies
and the environment. After they gather the information,
they must analyze it and draw conclusions about the benefits
of recycling based on facts. They are to explain their
conclusions in a written summary and illustrate with graphs,
charts, tables or posters. They must also include a list
of resources used in bibliographical format. After the
lesson, a visit to a recycling center is suggested. It
would also be a good time to start your own recycling projects,
such as recycling glass or paper.
Math Projects is well worth the investment in time and
money. It will stimulate your childís
interest in math, as well as reinforce logic and writing
skills. This review is based on the 2nd edition for grades
Through the Ages by Amy Pak
love Timeline products and this one did NOT disappoint!
On a scale of 1 to 5, this is definitely a 5!
Amy has created a resource that can be used
throughout your homeschooling career that will
help you and your children make sense of history.
And if you've never used a timeline, this one
makes it very easy to get started. Everything
you need is available from one resource.
the History Through the Ages Record of
Time notebook. This is georgeous! The timeline
pages are printed on heavy stock so they won't
tear out easily and your timeline pieces won't
see through the back of the page. These pages
are then inserted into a 3-ring notebook (about
13' wide by 9" high)
with a beautiful, full color, hard-bound cover,
making this easy to store and something that
will last a long, long time. Also, included are
17 maps of the ancient and modern worlds..
the Timeline Pieces. The timeline
pieces are purchased in sets (Creation to Christ,
Resurrection to Revolution, Napoleon to Now,
and America's History). They are printed on
white paper, complete with a picture and a
short description of the piece. Children who
like to color, can color the pieces which will
make your book even more colorful. The CD gives
you the option to print the pieces with or
without the descriptive text and in both wall
and notebook size!
the Suggested Placement Guide. One
of the most helpful features of this set is the
placement guide. This shows you where to place
your timeline pieces so that all of them will
fit in your notebook. Without this, you may
have trouble as you create your book. If you
place the timeline pieces in the wrong place,
then later when you go to add others, you may
find there is no space to squeeze in a piece
that needs to go between two previously placed
you may be thinking, "that's is a lot
of money to spend on a timeline" but let
me assure you that it will be money well spent.
How many textbooks do you buy that last for 12+
years? Or that will be used by the whole family?
And that will be a treasured memory book of your
homeschool days? This timeline is all that, as
well as a tool that will help you teach your
children the history of the world and demonstrate
how these historical events work together to
tell God's Story.
you have a child who is a visual and loves maps,
charts, and graphs or if you're looking for a
simple way to teach the US states, you'll love
this curriculum. It comes on a CD and is made
up of worksheets that are in pdf format (free
Acrobat Reader software is used to print them
out.) Simple print out the worksheets on your
printer, 3-hole punch, and place in a binder.
You can print the cover of a color cover stock
or have your child create his/her own cover.
The worksheets cover all 50 states. Students
have to do their own research to complete these
worksheets. When your child is done, he will have
learned where each state is located in the US,
and each state's major cities, abbreviations, state
symbols, average precipitation, highest and lowest
point, time zone, and population. He will also
learn about each state's natural resources, write
a timeline of major events for each state, and
discover what to see and do in each state.
After your child has learned about each state
individually, he will learn something about the
US as a whole. He will learn about the regions
of the US, the time zones, largest and smallest
state, largest city, longest river, largest lake,
largest desert, highest and lowest point, and hottest
and coldest temperatures. He will write the National
Anthem, color the US presidential seal, identify
and color the National bird and flower, write the
Pledge of Allegiance, write the incription from
the Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty, color the
flag, and identify major landmarks in the US. A
vocabulary list is also included.
After he has learned about the states and the
US, your child will write down his perfect vacation
and map it on a US map. A great way to review!
Finally, there is a test at the end. (I normally
don't like tests but I love this one!) Your child
has to identify outlines of each state and write
in its capitol. Then he has to look at several
US maps where the boundary lines are messed up
and fix them. For example, the boundary between
Oklahoma and Texas may be missing so the child
has to draw the boundary back in.
I highly recommend this resource for grades 1-6.
I recommend teaching from this for two or three
weeks each year, selecting worksheets that would
be suitable for your child at that age. The next
year, review what you learned last year and add
a little more. If you did this each year from grades
1 through 6, they would be well educated in US
geography by time they reach 7th grade. The other
alternative would be to teach it one year. I would
recommend teaching a one-year course in 4th, 5th
or 6th grade.
For more information or to order: http://www.holdthatthought.com/
Psych: Preparing Christian Homeschool Students for
Psych 101 by Dr. Tim Rice
As many of you know, I am currently in college
and also have a child in college. What I am
learning is not just academics, but also the
effect of college on our Christian students.
I've watched first-hand as MOST of our own
church kids go to college and then begin to
struggle with their faith. Many are leaving
it behind altogether. What I have learned from
this is that our kids not only need to have
an excellent academic and Biblical education,
but we must also equip them to live and work
in the secular world, as well. Don't shelter
your child from the theories of the world and
then send them to college (or work) where they
hear them for the first time. Instead, introduce
these theories while they are home with you
in the context of your Christian worldview.
Many of you already do that with history,
science, and literature. Now, there's a way
to do that for Psychology. If your child is
going to college, it is extremely likely that
they will have to take Psychology 101. Thanks
to Dr. Time Rice, there is now a way to prepare
them for it, while they are at home with you.
The goal of this textbook is to help prepare
Christian homeschool students for college-level,
introductory psychology. The course comprises
two parts. Part I teaches the history and background
of psychology and why it needs to be taught
in a Christian worldview. Dr. Rice also gives
examples of how the study of psychology can
be used to serve God in the world of mental
health care, business, child care, marriage
counseling, missions, and more.
Part II includes an overview of key concepts
commonly taught in an introductory psychology
class. This is the fun part! Your student will
learn all about the brain, the nervous system,
personality, and the theories of many famous
psychologists. Part of the lessons include
researching these psychologists to find out
about their worldview and how it affected their
theories - a real eye opener! A workbook is
included with excellent, thought-provoking
questions to answer that will lead the student
to an understanding of psychology from a Christian
worldview so that he or she will be prepared
to intelligently discuss psychology in a secular
Rice realizes that Christians have varying
views of psychology and is careful to avoid
pushing his opinion on the student. His goal
is only to introduce the student to what they
will learn in a college classroom. Therefore,
he keeps his opinions out and allows the parents
to teach it in the context of their own views.
As he says, " It is not the purpose of
this text to settle any arguments between Christians."
highly recommend this textbook for students
preparing for college. Document this course
on page 170 of The
Checklist. For more information
on Dr. Rice and Homeschool Psych, visit his
It Wasn't Much: True Tales of Ten Oklahoma Heroes
Wasn't Much is recommended for juvenile
readers, I thoroughly enjoyed it myself.
It makes learning history as easy as eating
fudge! The stories are short and easy to
read, but they are packed with adventure,
heroic exploits, historical facts, and
inspiration. There are ten biographies
of not-so-well known Oklahoma heroes such
as Rosemary Hogan who was a nurse during
World War I in the Philippines and a POW,
Fern Holland, an Oklahoma Cherokee, who
joined the Peace Corp and was killed while
serving in Iraq; Rufino Rodrigues who rescued
150 miners at the risk of his own life;
and Robbie Risner, from Tulsa, who kept
up the morale of his fellow Vietnam POWs
from the time he was captured in 1965 until
the time he was released in 1973.
in each chapter is more information about
the setting of the story, definitions of
difficult terms, suggestions for additional
reading, a list of Internet resources related
to the topic, and a list of places to visit
in Oklahoma that compliment the story. And
finally, on the Web site, there are additional
pages of study resources, discussion questions,
writing exercises, and teacher resources.
A lot for your money! For
more information or to purchase, see the
publisher's Web site: Forty-Sixth
Electric Circuits by Ed Basconi and David M. Jones
all Kinethetic learners! Here's a product that offers
hands-on fun as well as
thoughtful instruction. The kit contains everything
you need, including the batteries. The instruction
book is clear and easy to read. It contains nine
different lab experiments that are completed with
the attached "power Page" and included
I had a terrific time building a lamp,
a buzzer, and a simple circuit. I then experimented
with conductors, insulators, switches, circuits in
a series, parallel circuits, and electromagnets.
The components were first class and I loved the way
you simply "snapped in" the components on
page." No wires to cut and no soldering. And, because
the components are snapped in, you can use the kit over
and over again!
Student Workbook contains eight chapter reviews
composed of multiple choice, fill in the blank,
and essay-type questions. I like the fact that the
students have to actually learn something to complete
the reviews. I
can see why this won a Parents' Choice Award!
recommend that you use this kit with page 163 of The
This kit would also make a wonderful Christmas or birthday
more info, visit their Web
Box Central Lapbooks
those who enjoy lapbooking, this resource is a
must! The completed lapbook is made up of file folder
covers and 27 booklets inside. Directions are
included for creating the lapbook and what information
each of the 27 booklets should contain. For example,
there are booklets for writing the definition
of a light year, what a sun spot is, biographical
information about Galileo, vocabulary words,
and moon phases. There is also a booklet for
illustrating the solar system and one on space
shuttle disasters. There's even a word search
template! Very thorough coverage of astronomy that
will work well with any astronomy curriculum.
Lapbooks titles are available including topics in history,
Bible, geography, science, math, literature, and home
economics, as well as lapbooks that go along with the
American Girls series. In addition to the Astronomy lapbook,
I was sent an Egypt lapbook and the Exploring
Creation with Zoology, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth
Day to review.
the Swimming Creatures lapbook, the instructions
not only include what information to write on the booklets,
but also where to find the answers in the Apologia textbook
- nice feature for mom and dad! This lapbook was created
to go along with the Apologia series. Other titles in
this series are available.
The Egypt Lapbook
was my favorite. The instruction book not only included
instructions for putting the lapbook together, but detailed
information about Egypt to read. There is no need for
layout in both Swimming and Egypt were
better than the layout in the Astronomy booklet
- the colors were “happier,” the choice of
artwork was more interesting, and the layout looked more
lapbook is sold in four different ways: (1) e-book -
everything is sent by e-mail. You download the templates
and guide book, print it out on your own paper, and provide
your own file folders; (2) CD - same as e-book except
on CD; (3) Do-it-Yourselfer - Purchaser received printed
templates, file folders, and a printed guidebook in mail,
purchaser must assemble; and (4) Pre-assembled - everything
cut out and assembled, ready to write in. Comes with
would heartily recommend these lapbooks for children
who love making booklets and enjoy writing. And
when you're done, you'll have wonderful memory-books
of your child's learning that you'll enjoy for
years to come!
I would not recommend these for children who do not
enjoy cutting, pasting and/or writing. (Although
a work-around would be for them to type on the little
booklets before gluing them in the folder. You would;
however, need a regular typewriting as the formatting
would be difficult on a computer.)
with the Movies.
you do unit studies or just like to enrich your homeschool
program with videos, you have to have this book by
Beth Holland! This is another resource I discovered
at the OCHEC convention and immediately purchased.
the Movies includes a listing of cinema movies and made-for-TV
movies. The beauty of this guide is that all the movies
are organized chronologically beginning with Bible Times
and Ancient Egypt through 1900's. If you are doing a
study on Rome, simple look through the section on Ancient
Rome! For instance, in the Rome section, she has included
Ben-Hur, Demetrius and the Gladiator, fall of the Roman
Empire, Julius Caesar, Jupiter's Darling, Quo Vadis?,
The Robe, Sign of the Pagan (about Attila the Hun), and
Spartacus. There is also some blank space for you to
list additional movies as you find them.
Finally, she has
also included movies related to the Music/Arts (example:
The Agony and the Ecstasy which is about Michelangelo),
Biographies (example: Abe Lincoln in Illinois), Sports
(example: Brian's Song), Science/Nature (example: Apollo
13), Horses (example: Miracle of the White Stallions),
Medicine (example: The Girl in White), Literature (example:
A Christmas Carol), Holidays (example: Miracle on 34th
Street), and Family Films (just plain fun).
Each movie listing
includes its production date, Beth's star rating, and
the parental guidance rating (PG, G, etc). An alphabetical
listing is in the back of the book. Highly recommended
for the visual and auditory
Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers
Frank says that, Life Prep for Homeschool Teenagers
is a "parent-friendly
curriculum for teaching teenagers to live as morally
and financially responsible adults." That
is exactly what it is; and, how I wish it had been
available for my own children!
spiral-bound, 100-page book includes lessons for
the work-bound as well as the college-bound teenager.
It teaches them life skills by having your teen read,
research, and complete real-life projects that are
related to the concept being studied. By the time
your teen completes the curriculum, he will have
had hands-on practice in buying a car, getting a
loan, purchasing car insurance, learning about credit
cards (the good, bad, and ugly!), purchasing health
insurance, renting an apartment, grocery shopping,
paying utilities, buying a home, paying taxes, and
keeping a budget. For college-bound teens, there
is also a project on college applications and writing
the college essay.
an example of one of the projects. For the Rent Project,
you child has to look up rentals in the newspaper,
but not just in your own town, but also in several
other areas. After your child completes his research
on rent, deposits, late fees, amenities, etc., then
he must create a comparison chart of his findings
and discover for himself what the best deal is. I
love how Barbara not only requires the student to
research the information, but the student must also
create lists, charts, graphs, etc. to discover where
and how to get the best deal.
excellent reading list of books recommended for teenagers
is included, along with ways to evaluate your student's
reading assignments. The books on the list cover dating,
personal living, money, investing, and the working
world. If you have a slow reader and/or a child who
does not plan on attending college, I recommend using
Barbara's reading list as your child's literature
requirement, rather than having them read Shakespeare
and the like. It will be much more beneficial to
I had had this book when my children were a teenagers,
it would have saved hours of time locating resources
and planning curriculum to teach these topics. Your
child needs this type of real-life education in order
to be successful, whether he goes to college or not,
and Barbara provides an easy way to get it. I highly
recommend Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers for
every homeschool family.
The Complete New Testament for Kids by
moms ask me what I recommend for Bible Study, I always
tell them to just read the Bible to their kids. What
could be better than the straight Word of God?
I first started homeschooling in 1981, I had also
just become a Christian after 30 years of atheism.
Not only was I hungry for the Word, but I wanted
my children to learn about God at an early age.
didn't know there was such as thing as Bible curriculum,
so part of our homeschool was to read through the Bible
together, beginning at Genesis and going all way through
to Revelation. Every morning, I read another chapter
to the kids, who were then 4 & 5. Little did
I know I would have to discuss sex as part of our
Bible reading! (I figured if God wrote then He must
have wanted us to discuss it - which we did!) In
my ignorance, by reading God's Word straight through,
not only did we learn about God's Word, but it also
opened up the opportunity for us to freely talk about
many subjects that are often hard to talk about.
you'd rather not get into some of those "deeper" topics
right off the bat! Here's what I would recommend. There
is a brand new Bible out called, Magnify: The Complete
New Testament for Kids by Tommy Nelson. It's the complete
New Testament written in an easy-to-understand translation
just for kids along with cute, colorful illustrations,
a pair of fun Decoder Glasses to use as part of the
reading program, and short games and quizzes. A really
fun way to learn about God. I highly recommend it.
by Joetta Wilson) Chaney has been using the Gamma book
because I wasn't happy with her inability
her multiplication table. We really struggled
but she never learned it well or understood it.
We started using the Math U See book so we could start
over and try a different method. I love the way
the students are taught with the DVD lessons and that
they use the manipulative blocks so that they can
see as well as hear why they do things a certain way.
The lessons are short and only cover the subject they
work on in the workbook, so the kids don't get bored
sitting through them or confused by being rushed into
another subject too soon. The teacher
really knows how to explain the theory in an easy
to understand language. I've already seen some understanding
taking place where I think she struggled. I
am completely sold on this math and will be using it
from now on. Reviewed by Joetta Wilson and family.
Highly recommended for the kinethetic,
auditory, and visual learner.
by Joetta Wilson) As for Kalie, this has been a lifesaver. She
is using the Pre-Algebra book. She actually enjoys
her math lessons now. I don't hear her mumble
about having to do it and how hard it is. In
fact, after she watched one of the lessons, she got
up and told me,
"Why couldn't someone explain it to me
like that before? I understand it now."
That was what completely sold me on this math product.
Shandra is upset that we didn't have this for her because
she really struggled through Algebra and never did completely
understand it. I think I will be getting the Algebra
for her to do again, maybe this time she will learn
something useful and understand things. Reviewed by Joetta
Wilson and family. Highly
recommended for the kinethetic,
auditory, and visual learner.
Literacy Grade 6
— A Necessary Subject!
is everywhere! The average one-hour television show
now has 18 minutes of advertising. Corporations spend
millions of dollars on TV, radio, newspaper, magazine,
Internet and even video game ads. Millions more are
spent on hiring advertising professionals. According
to Occupational Outlook, the median income for advertising
and promotions managers in 2006 was $98,720 per year.
These advertising professionals spend years in college
studying marketing, consumer behavior, market research,
sales, communication methods, technology, and visual
arts. By time they graduate, they are well trained
to write convincing advertisements!
all this media aimed at selling products and services
that people may or may not need, parents and teachers
require resources to teach children to understand
the media, how media affects them, and how to recognize
the persuasive power of the media.
Created Materials has just released a teaching resource
called, Media Literacy. This mini-course covers the
major forms of media, how media affects people, persuasive
techniques of media, and propaganda. It provides
students a brief overview of advertising in print,
radio, television, magazines, billboards, music,
video games, product placement, packaging, newspapers,
art, and Web sites. Worksheets direct the student to
examine the advertising method and then answer questions.
instance, in Media Literacy, Grade 5, a magazine
ad is featured. After studying the ad, students answer
questions that relate to the type and purpose of ad,
media tricks, and hidden messages.
you're looking for an educational product that will
help you teach your children media literacy, I recommend
that you check this one out. TCM offers several different
grade levels of this product. I recommend choosing
the grade level that corresponds to the highest level
of your children and use it for all of them as a
Portfolio Throughout the Year by Barbara
loved this resource as soon as I opened the package! Nature
Portfolio Throughout the Year by Barbara Shukin
is perfect for those of us who enjoy nature and
creating memory albums. The product is well made
and should last a lifetime with care.
Shukin wrote the course for 6-10 year olds, but I
would recommend it for any child who likes this type
of learning. Although it is an introductory science
course, it could be used to provide enrichment activities
for older students. The goal is to complete 1-2 pages
a week, but any time frame could be used.
The book is divided into four sections according
to the seasons. The seasons are then divided into
ecosystems: Yards and Gardens, Woods and Fields,
Ponds and Streams, Desert Lands, and Along the Seashore.
You can purchase the suggested nature guides or use
an encyclopedia or library books to complete the
course. A field guide is highly recommended for outdoor
Although Shukin has prepared a teacher's guide for
the book, many of you, like me, will go off on your
own tangent! And that's exactly what she wants us
to do! Just for fun, here's how I would use the book
would use it three times a week for science class
during one semester and spend 60-90 minutes each
class. I would choose one season out of the book
to do a year and save the rest for another year.
Each of my lessons would include the following
activities and would be in place of any other
would make a list of the animals and plants being
studied for the semester and carry it in my purse
Day 1 of the lesson, I would take the family
for a hike, go to the zoo or natural science
museum and view the subjects of the semester
would have the kids take photos of, draw, and/or
write about the animals that we looked at.
Day 2 and each subsequent day, I would read,
as a family, a children's book or nature guide
article about the subject(s) being studied that
day. For older kids, recommend some other books
that they can read on their own. Search Amazon.com
for ideas ahead of time. (Limit to 5-10 minutes
family reading time.)
a family, we would do an internet search for
online resources about the subjects. Use search
terms like "millipede and crafts" or "millipede
and color page." Add other filters like "facts," "webquest," "online
activity," "recipe," or "worksheet." Give
assignments to each child based on what comes
up in this search. Do some as a family or assign
individually. (Limit to 20 minutes family time.)
the picture part of the page using Shukin's included
illustrations. For kids who would rather create
their own, they could use their drawings and
photos from the field trip or search the internet
for other illustrations to use instead of the
ones provided. (Limit to 10 minutes family time.)
the appropriate writing form for the day and
complete the writing assignment as Shukin suggested,
or for your creative child, have them write their
own text, story, or poem. For younger children
or children who have difficulty writing, I would
have them dictate to me what they want to say.
(Limit to 10 minutes family time.)
during the semester that I saw anything related
to our subjects such as TV shows, movies, magazine
articles, etc., I would integrate that in the
the last day of the semester, I would take another
hike, go to the zoo or natural science museum
and enjoy looking at more of the subjects studied
during the semester. Have a picnic, celebrate,
buy your children a game or puzzle related to
a subject as a reward for a job well done.
This is not a course that homeschoolers
who prefer traditional curriculum will enjoy. I
recommend this for creative, eclectic homeschoolers
who like to do their own thing.
for those like me, I'm positive you will enjoy
using this book as the basis of a family study
in nature. And when you're done, be sure to check
off the topics in The
Checklist. This is a perfect resource for those
of you who own The
Old Mummy to learn about the gods, symbols, and art
of Ancient Egypt. The game is played like either
Old Maid or Concentration. Each card includes a full
color photo and a brief fact about an ancient Egyptian
object. The cards are printed on high quality, plastic-coated
cardstock so it should hold up well for many years
of use. A mini book of Ancient Egypt facts is included
along with the deck of card; and all are stored in
a beautifully-illustrated tin can. (My personal opinion
is that I wouldn't want to spend that much time learning
about all their gods, but it is a beautiful game.)
available is a beautiful, clear plastic ruler which
color images of hieroglyphs imprinted on it. This
would make a nice reward for a job well done! Published
by Birdcage Books and available online through their
Oklahoma Land Run, The
by Una Belle Townsend. Illustrated by Emile Henriquez.
of the best ways to get children interested in studying
history is to read them age-appropriate, historical fiction.
This gives children a context through which they can better
understand historical events.
The Oklahoma Land Run by Una Belle Townsend provides such
a context for a study of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.
The book is about nine-year-old boy, Jesse, who must drive
the family's wagon in the big Land Run race because his
father has injured his arm. Children will relate to Jesse's
courage, fears, and resourcefulness as he undertakes a
tough mission for the good of the family. Throughout the
story, readers are introduced to just enough facts about
the Land Run and Oklahoma to excite interest in learning
more. Best of all, the illustrations are absolutely delightful,
making this book a joy to read for both young and old.
A must-have book for those of you teaching Oklahoma HIstory,
as well as for parents who are looking for enjoyable children's
literature that also teaches.
the Banks of Durbin Creek: It's Bedtime for Bunnies by
don't usually review many fiction books, but this one
caught my eye and I just have to share it with you.
Loretta, a homeschool mom, raises bunnies - as a
matter of fact, she currently has 120 bunnies! And
these bunnies are the subject of her book, "It's
Bedtime for Bunnies." Loretta
takes photos of her "dressed up" bunnies
sleeping in beds, playing in gardens, and interacting
with each other just as the bunnies in the Peter Rabbit
books do. Only this time it's photos instead of drawings.
And the photos are just plain adorable! The text is
in poetry style, easy to read, and tells how mother
bunny watches over her baby bunnies just as the Lord
watches over us. A delightful book that everyone who
loves animals will enjoy. Recommended for all ages.
Check out her Web
site for her bunny-photo greeting cards, too!
of Physics by Kinetic Books.
never like physics and I still don't; but, if I had
to teach physics, this is the resource I would use.
Principles of Physics is a CD that you install on your
computer. Each lesson is presented on an html page
that you read on the computer; but, the neat thing
learners like me is that you click on a simulation
and it explains the concept using sound and animations.
This is what makes this program worth it for me. I
have trouble understanding physics - probably always
will - but with the added dimension of sound and animations,
I know I could master the subject if I worked at it.
For those of you with children who are science-oriented,
I think this would inspire them to learn even more
because it does use all the senses.
was easy to install and set up. And the cost? Amazingly
cheap - only $39.95. You can't beat that for a physics
course. I give this a 5 star rating! Kinetic Books offers
three versions of their physics courses: Conceptual Physics
is for students taking a first course in high school
physics. It is algebra-based. Principles of Physics is
designed for high school students who want to take the
physics AP/B exam.Physics for Scientists and Engineers
is a calculus-based, college-level physics course. For
more info, visit their website.
Rainbow Curriculum by Durell C. Dobbins
physics and other science topics is fun using The
Rainbow curriculum written by Durell C.
Dobbins. It's written for junior high but you
can use it with other ages with some adaptation.
Read the lessons together as a family. Do the
lab work as a family.
you need for lab is included in the kit and I mean
everything including the goggles. Kids love the goggles!
You don't have to rummage
through the house looking for the usual “household
equipment comes packed in two plastic containers stored
in a cardboard box. It also comes with a diagram that
explains what everything is which is a big help for
those of us who are bit illiterate when it comes to
identifying science equipment (that's me).
lab directions were simple to follow. The
textbook is colorful and written in an easy-to-read
prose. The teacher's manual provides daily lesson
plans, answer keys, and occasional field trip ideas.
would highly recommend this for those of you who
want a complete, Christian-based science with lab
in a kit. Year 1 covers physics and chemistry with
lab, Year 2 covers biology and applied science with
lab. The teacher's manual recommends
science three days per week, two days for the lesson
and one day for the lab. I like the three day schedule,
Science 4 Kids
of the homeschooling moms I know have trouble with
science. I think it's a girl thing - in general,
girls don't like science and math as much as
reading and history. Consequently, much of the
emphasis in homeschooling seems to be on history
you must remember that you may be raising
the next Isaac Newton or Thomas Edison; therefore,
it's important to expose your children to science
at an early age.
until recently, however, there was not much out
there for homeschoolers in the way of easy-to-teach
science. Most of it was written in boring textbooks
and required a lot of fancy, expensive equipment.
But now, there are a variety of choices, even
for the little ones. One of my favorites that
I've been playing with this summer is Dr. Keller's
Pre-Level Chemistry (Real Science 4 Kids series).
see how I've used this with my granddaughter,
who was 6 at the time, check out my blogs: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/EmptyNestMom/554/ and http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/EmptyNestMom/2957/.
I wasamazed at how much she caught on to Chemistry
at that age! And it's easy to understand which makes
it easy for me to teach. I highly recommend this
curriculum. For more information, visit the Real
Science Web site.
Star-Spangled State Book and The Star-Spangled Workbook by
Joel F. King.
in elementary school, you'll want to teach your children
about the 50 states. The Star-Spangled Workbook and
State Book will help you do just that. During the
first 18 weeks, your child will learn a little bit
about each state and its location on the US map.
During the second 18 weeks, your child will learn
the state capitals, the postal abbreviation of each
state, and what states border each state.
method involved is reading information in the Workbook
(or the State Book) about each state, completing a
worksheet related to the lesson, and playing a "Geoquiz" that
will reinforce what the child has learned.
course consists of the Workbook and the State Book
(which contains a color version of the workbook as
well as 15 additinal pages of resources for learning
about the states). You can buy these separately or
together at a discount. (You could teach the course
without the State Book but the color makes it much
more interesting and you do get a few more quizzes
and learning resources). A reproducible CD is included
with the Workbook so that you can print as many copies
of the Workbook as you need for your family. Note:
This will not take the place of your state study
usually required in 4th, 8th, and 10th grade.
Adventures by Treasure Box Press.
am very impressed with this kit and would highly
recommend it to anyone, especially those who enjoy
unit studies. It
is a unit study without all the work it normally
takes to find everything. Each kit comes with everything
needed to do the whole unit with the exception of
tape, scissors, glue, etc; in other words everything
home school parents should already have on hand.
This kit can
be used either by itself or alongside your regular
curriculum as an added tool. Chaney has really enjoyed
doing this unit on stars and constellations because
she is a hand-on child and learns more by using all
her senses. I usually have to drag her to do her
science, but since Science Adventures is so hands-on,
she actually enjoys science now. Reviewed by Joetta
Wilson and family.
Signs & Seasons:
Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy by
first impression when I picked up this curriculum
was - how do I read this? The author uses fonts and
text that emulate the style of Colonial Almanacks.
Those of you who use a Classical method of homeschooling
will feel quite at home; however, for those of us
who do not, it presents a bit of a challenge. Once
you get past the preface, however, a majority of
the text is in a modern style.
purpose of the book is best explained by the author,
Jay Ryan: "Unlike other astronomy books,
Signs & Seasons is based on the Biblical purpose
for which the Sun, Moon, and stars were created -
for signs and seasons, days and years - as it is
written in Genesis 1:14. Signs & Seasons includes
extensive Bible quotes from classic authors - philosophers,
poets, and historians, Christian and secular alike.
. . The purpose of Signs & Seasons is to help
the reader become an observer of the celestial bodies
and to understand the clockwork of the heavens."
why the stars rise and set
- the motion of the planets and the moon among the
- the reasons for the seasons
- the names of the principal constellations
- why they seem to change with the seasons.
are seven chapters with black and white drawings
and an appendix. The appendix includes suggestions
for further reading, astronomical tables, brief biographies
of quoted authors "with an emphasis on their
relevance to calssical astronomy," a glossary,
and field activities. The section on field activities
offers ideas on creating a field journal, as well
as many hands-on activities that will make the unit
much more meaningful. For instance, in Chapter 1,
you will create a backyard compass which will be
used throughout the year for observing the skies.
There are also instructions on how to sketch the
earth's rotation, and the sun's daily motion. A globe
activity helps students understand the geocentric
and heliocentric theory. Directions for creating
a volvelle to illustrate the daily motion of the
sun are included as well as a journal entry suggestion
for a classical astronomy timeline. Also included
is a pair of Eclipse Shades for safe solar viewing.
I found the quotes mixed in with the text confusing
and the information more in depth than I would
have taught based on my own children's learning
styles and interests. However, I would heartily
recommend this book to those who enjoy the Classical
method of homeschooling as well as those who desire
to give their children an in-depth look at astronomy
from a Biblical perspective.
don't think there is another curriculum out there
like this, so it would be well worth your time to
check it out and see if it will meet a need in your
of The Story of Science by Joy Hakim
review covers three textbooks in the series: Aristotle
Leads the Way,
at the Center,
Adds a New Dimension.
curriculum takes students from 400 B.C. through the year
2000 by studying the lives, culture and work of famous
scientists including Pythagoras, Archimedes, Aristotle,
Newton, and Einstein. As the students progress through
the series, they create a timeline of historical events
and famous people related to their studies. The students
create the timeline pieces from their own drawings and graphs.
lesson starts out with a lesson summary, a famous quote,
goals (what the students will learn), a list of people that
will be studied, terms and topics that will be studied, and
timeline information. The lesson summary is an excellent
explanation of what the students will learn and, unless you
are well versed in the subject matter, essential to understanding
This is NOT a self-teaching course. You will need the teachers’ and
students’ guides to use this curriculum. The teachers’ guides
explain how to use the books and student guides. They provide
a supply list, transparency masters, handouts, and quizzes.
Suggestions for science fair projects are included in the
teachers’ guides, as well as enrichment activities
that cover other topics (math, history, geography, language
arts, drama, art and music).
student guide includes fill-in charts, short answer, essay
questions, and some diagrams. This is not an easy multiple
choice/true false curriculum! Most students will be challenged
because of the reasoning, lab activities and assessment
methods used in the curriculum. For instance, in Aristotle
Leads the Way, students have to compare the cosmology of
Pythagoras and Aristotle. In Newton at the Center, students
must identify which Law of Motion a particular scenario
lessons are directed to classroom learning and include
a lot of group activities; however, they are easily adapted
to a homeschool situation. Most of the supplies needed
for the labs are obtainable locally; however, you will
need to purchase some basic lab supplies such as bar magnets,
spring scales, thermometers, and graduated cylinders that
can be purchased online.
This is a secular curriculum. It treats all religions the
same and in a literary and historical context. Christian
homeschoolers may be offended by statements made in the text
that creation stories, including those in the Bible, are
considered a myth, as well as by the use of Common Era (B.C.E.
and C.E.), rather than B.C. and A.D. The explanation for
the usage of Common Era is covered in the beginning of each
of the first two books. Christians may want to add supplemental
material that explains an alternative viewpoint.
Homeschool parents who want to give their children a challenging,
classical, science education; who enjoy a historical approach
to teaching science; and who are preparing their children
for mathematical and scientific careers will benefit most
from this series. I would not recommend it for students with
learning difficulties, students who need only a general education
in science, or students who have trouble staying on topic.
The layout of the books is similar to the Usborne books with
lots of sidebars, photos with captions, and graphs interwoven
throughout the text. For some students, this type of layout
makes it difficult for them to focus. However, students who
enjoy lots of pictures, charts, graphs, and sidebars will
I were still homeschooling, I would enjoy using this curriculum
to give my children a historical background on the evolution
of scientific thought, introduce them to the scientists and
their contributions to science today, and challenge my children’s
Lines, Etc. produces time line figures, historical
information, games and learning activities for U.S.History,
Ancient Civilizations, Middle Ages, Inventions, Old
Testament, New Testament, and Learning the Bill of
you have children who enjoy coloring, this is the set
I would recommend. The figures are line drawings on
heavy card stock so they are easy to color with any
medium (crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, etc).
There are some duplicate pieces that are already colored,
although not the complete set. (I would have liked
to have seen this complete.)
For kinesthetic kids,
there are a variety of ideas included to make learning
fun such as: make the figures into puppets, arrange
them in chronological order, use a figure as "show
and tell," and much more.
could use the timeline figures as your entire history
course. A short historical summary about each piece
is included to help you teach about each figure. You
can then use library books and the internet to add
to this information. Although not as professionally
done as the competition, I did enjoy the line art that
makes them easier to color. They are a bit cheaper
also. For more information, visit their website.
first glance, I thought this product was going to be
confusing; but, after using it awhile, I found it was
not. The idea is very good because it helps younger
children learn multiplication of higher numbers, something
they tend to have trouble learning. When I first examined
the examples used, I thought they were a little childish,
but considering the age group this is written for,
the use of simple, familiar items makes it easier for
younger children to relate. I recommend this product
on an as-needed basis for additional practice and reinforcement
in lower elementary math education. Reviewed by Joetta
Wilson and family
to a report from the National Assessment of Educational
Progress, only 31 percent of eighth graders and 34
percent of twelfth graders meet the National Assessment
of Educational Progress standard of reading 'proficiency'
for their grade level. A report entitled, An Examination
of College Writing Skills: Have They Deteriorated?
describes a study done on writing samples from 1956
to 1993 in which it was shown that "college
students' writing ability has declined." A 2007
Cal State University system reports that nearly half
of their incoming freshman scored below proficient
in English placement tests. Employers complain that
their employees can't think for themselves or solve
simple problems. These is a serious trend that will
affect our country as well as our families. But,
as home schoolers, you can do something about it
and the TRISMS curriculum is one tool that can help
you. They offer several products for grades 6 - 12.
Age of Revolution comes in two volumes. The first
semester covers 1850 through the 1920s. Semester
two covers 1930-2005. This review covers Age of Revolution,
you are looking for college-preparatory curriculum
for high school, look no further. Age of Revolution,
Second Semester is a research-based course that covers
one semester in high school; however, there is enough
material to use for one whole year. When your student
completes both semesters of Age of Revolution, your
student earns 1 high school credit in US History,
1 credit in Modern World History, 1 credit in Political
Science, 1 credit in Modern Humanities, and 1 credit
in Literature as well as partial credit in subjects
such as Economics, Speech, Rhetoric, and Geography.
The teacher's manual includes a sample transcript
showing how to award credits.
topics covered in Age of Revolution, Second Semester,
are American presidents, world powers and leaders,
wars and battles, Nobel Prize winners, art, music,
architecture, rhetoric, and logic. You, as the teacher,
can work with your student or the instructions are
simple enough that your self-motivated student can
work his or her own way through the curriculum.
the process of working through the curriculum, the
student creates a notebook. All the forms for this
notebook are included in the set price and can be
purchased separately for additional children.
LOVE this notebook! The student will research the
questions on their own using books, magazines, and
the Internet. No short answer, T/F, multiple choice
on these worksheets! For instance, each lesson includes
an American President research form. Your student
not only has to find out when he served, what party
he belonged to, and who he ran against, but he must
also research the president's foreign and domestic
policies, the leading social issue of his day, controversies
surrounding this president, and even write his or
her own opinion about the president's term in office.
Other notebook pages include map studies, nobel prize
winners, famous people, wars, art, music and architecture.
Also included are Rhetoric worksheets for classical
learners and a worksheet that assesses the student's
overall knowledge of the subject area. Again, this
must be researched. For example, in the 1970-1979
worksheet, the student must research Roe vs. Wade,
existentialism, the social statement of music in
the '70s, Watergate, how Upton Sinclair's book, The
Jungle, brought change in government regulations,
environmental issues, and much more! Students are
also required to create a timeline of events and
learn vocabulary relevant to the period.
student will read books such as My Antonia, Life
on the Mississippi, Out of the Dust, and The Testament.
Movie suggestions are also included such as Gods
and Generals, Rough Riders, Sgt. York, The Inn of
Sixth Happiness, and Apollo 13.
research links are included as well. This list of
Internet links will help your students with their
research and includes links to famous people, art,
flags, maps, timelines, as well as audio and video
links that relate to the course. And because it is
set in our time period, students have an opportunity
to interview family members, veterans of various
wars, living authors, artists and musicians.
As the author says, "One of the primary goals
is to teach students to ask questions, find answers,
and transfer information from reading to thinking,
to writing, and to speaking."
heartily recommend all TRISM products for college-prep
students and students who enjoy reading, writing,
and research. Having just completed college
American History and American Government, I can
assure you that this curriculum will prepare your
student for college-level American History!
would not recommend this particular unit for students
who have difficulty reading and writing. It will
take too much time that would better be used learning
basic subjects and specific career preparation courses.
However, I would suggest looking into TRISMS:
History Makers. This curriculum is sold as a
middle school product, but it could be used in high
school over a period of two to three years to teach
research and writing skills. It has the same format
as other TRISMS product, but includes easier reading
selections such as Detectives in Togas, Achimedes
and the Door of Science, How Did We Find Out About
Germs, and Call of the Wild. It covers world history
from 3500 B.C. to the Present and includes the same
notebook approach as the other TRISMS products. It's
well worth doing - just do it slower! TRISMS:
History Maker also prepares students for the
advanced work given in other TRISMS products, should
they decide to take them.
With Max by Nancy Ann Van Wie
Ann Van Wie's Mystery Books are stand-alone chapter
books that can be read without having to use the Teacher’s
Guides, School Workbook, or Activity Books. For this
review, I read Mystery
at the White House: A President is Missing, and
I found it delightful! I can’t imagine any child, ages K-4+
who will not enjoy reading (or being read to from) this book.
It’s 133 pages long with black and white illustrations.
The illustrations are cute and add to the enjoyment. The
story is funny, clever, and fun to read. While reading the
story, your child will learn about Washington, D.C., Gilbert
Stuart, and the White House. The author knows how to grab
the reader’s attention and keep it. My only objection
to the book is that the author trivialized the President’s
work by having his “very important” meeting be
a golf game. I think this incident could have been used to
introduce the students to something the President does that
really is important, such as meeting with a leader from another
country. However, this was not a major part of the book,
so it did not affect my overall enjoyment. Mystery at
the White House is an enjoyable book that will not only
entertain your students, but educate them as well.
Activity Books are lots of fun, and I know your students
will enjoy them. Each book includes the same type of
black and white illustrations as does all the other
resources. While not the best illustrations in the
world, they are cute and most kids will enjoy them.
Each Activity Book includes a variety of activities
such as coloring pages, hidden objects, crossword puzzles,
maps, fill-ins, mazes, connect-the-dots, word finds,
brain teasers, coded messages, and fun facts. The Activity
Books can be used as a stand-alone product or along
with the Teacher’s
Guide and School Workbook. Homeschoolers could use the
Activity Books as supplements to any unit study on
the same topic.
Teacher’s Guide and School Workbook go together. The Teacher’s
Guide provides vocabulary words, instructions for using the worksheets, ideas
for integrating other subjects, such as math and language arts, into the curriculum,
as well as answers to the school workbook. The School Workbook includes worksheets
that go along with the lesson plan. It includes activities similar to the Activity
Books. The Teacher’s Guide includes additional worksheets in the back of
the Teacher’s Guide, which can be used to further
reinforce each lesson.
As of this writing, the
topics covered in this series include Washington, D.C.,
the White House, the Unites States Capitol Building,
the Supreme Court, How a Bill Becomes a Law, How American
Citizens Elect Their Leaders, the Baseball Hall of Fame,
the Statue of Liberty, and Math is Fun.
more information, see their Web site at Travels
Two is Not Five
Plus Two Is Not Five by Susan Greenwald
has been instrumental in helping my children
visualize math concepts. It turns a bunch
of numbers on paper into something real and
tangible for my children to work with. As
I was teaching them some of the math tricks
in this book, I realized Susan (the author)
had found a simple way to explain exactly how
I actually see math problems in my mind.
I never could have explained it this well.
This curriculum is easy enough for my 5-year-old
- he loves it and asks for more - and yet
is still interesting enough to help my 9-year-old
fill in some gaps in her math knowledge without
being bored. I highly recommend this curriculum." Reviewed
by Kimberly Duell, Broken Arrow, OK. Homeschool
mother of four children, ages 9, 5, 3, and
of Jericho is fun!
gives you instructions to read before you play,
or you can by-pass them if you know how to play.
The graphics are pretty good. You use the mouse
to do everything you need to do very easily.
The music is ok. You can change the music
also. It's basically a block game. You line certain
blocks up to get the wall to fall down. I thought
it was pretty enjoyable. Chaney (my 8 year old)
really enjoyed it. She said she got to level
three and she only played for a short time, Of
course, she played it several times after that.
You have to think fast to play the game but it
is a good game to work on concentration. There
isn't any Bible learning in it, but it is a fun
game. I think it would be enjoyed by 7 year olds
and up. We rated this game an 8 out of 10. Reviewed
by Joetta Wilson and family.
What Really Happened
in . . ." compiled by Terri Johnson.
Johnson has collected a variety of historical biographies
written by various authors and compiled them into
books according to time periods.
Really Happened in Ancient Times" includes
biographies on Eve, Noah, Gilgamesh, Imhotep, Daniel,
Cyrus the Great, Eratosthenes, and Constantine.
Really Happened During the Middle Ages" includes
biographies on St. Patrick, Theodora, Alcuin, Good
King Wenseslas, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc,
Johann Gutenberg, and Martin Luther.
What Really Happened
in Colonial Times includes
biographies of Pocahontas, Lady Alicia Lisle, James
Cook, Rachel Walker Revere (Paul Revere's wife),
Admiral Lord Nelson, Catherine Ferguson, Lucretia
Mott, and Narcissa Whitman.
The books are easy to read and written to interest
students of all ages, whether as a read-aloud or
read alone (recommended for ages 8+). These books
are guaranteed to get your children interested in
history! The biographies are written by current authors
and even some homeschoolers! Highly recommended.
I'm looking forward to reading "What Really Happened
in Modern Times" coming out in Spring 2008.
Landmark Books by
Karen J. Thiessen
for me, I discovered Landmark Books after my children
graduated. This is a wonderful series of books written
in 1950-1970, that can be used as family read-alouds
or assigned reading for children in 4th grade and
up. According to Karen, there are 63 books in the
World Landmark series (world history) and 122 books
in the Landmark series (American history). They include
biographies of famous people as well as historical
Landmark Books is a guide to the 63 books in the
World Landmark series. Karen not only gives a brief
overview of each book, but she provides information
about the author, how to use the books in your homeschool,
and ideas for how to locate them (many of these are
hard to find). She includes a list of the books organized
by title, author, publication date, chronological
date, and by subject category. There is also information
on the rarity of each book is so you can know what
to expect in price.
evaluations are based on her Christian worldview
which his a big help to me. There were several
books on her list that I had not heard of which
I quickly added to my "To-Buy" list.
Others, although the titles sounded like books
I would want to own (ie. Jesus of Nazareth, Martin
Luther) were not added to my list because of her
explanation of the author's worldview. A big money
has written a subsequent book entitled: Landmark
Books, A Homeschooler's Guide which covers the 122
books in the American History series.
those of you who use "real" books
in your homeschool and want a Christian world
view, this is a must-have addition to your
library. I highly recommend it. Website: Pure
of Old, A Blank Timeline Book of World History.
you need a resource for teaching history using a
timeline and love the look and feel of a "real" book,
you'll love Wonders of Old! This is more than a
school book - it's a family keepsake! Terri
has created this oversized, hardcover book to "help
your students understand and 'see' the progression of
history with interactive and engaging timelines. It includes
decorative pages on which to write historical events
or attach timeline figures. Terri has also included significant
dates for each period and a place for notes in the back. This
is a homeschool resource that will be treasured for
For more homeschool curriculum
suggestions, check Curriculum
For more book reveiws to my blog, How do
I Teach . . . ?
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