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Fascinating Chemistry Review

I am so excited to tell you about the Fascinating Chemistry course from Fascinating Education.

Fascinating Education offers excellent online science courses for teens. They currently offer several courses: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, Logic of Medicine.  These courses are interactive and help students build a solid foundation in their knowledge of science.  These courses were developed by Dr. Sheldon Margulies who has taught science courses for over 30 years and trained 2500+ medical students in the science of how the brain works.  His programs have won numerous education awards.

Fascinating Chemistry

Fascinating Chemistry

Online Course

18 Lessons

Quizzes

Labs

For grades 8 – 12

1 year subscription

Retail $79

Fascinating Chemistry uses an online audio visual approach to engage students and keep their interest while they learn the scientific methods and principals of chemistry.  The courses are mobile and all you need is a subscription and a computer or smart phone or other interactive device that connects to the online course on the internet.  These courses are designed for highschool age students, but can be used for middle school age students too if they have had some of the higher math training used in the course.

In Fascinating Chemistry, students will learn the four ways that atoms bond to each other to create molecules, and how these bonds help determine the properties of the end result molecule.  Students will learn how these special molecular properties explain a wide range of aspects of the everyday world we live including concepts as varied as: air, temperature, diamonds, rubber, how water freezes, gasses, nuclear energy, food, metals, weather, and more.

The course outlines 18 main lessons with multiple mini-lessons in each. Lessons take approximately 45 minutes or less to complete, not including tests and additional labs.

Lessons include:

Lesson 1: Intramolecular Bonding

The Periodic Table of Elements
Bohr Model of the Atom
Electrons, Protons, Neutrons, Nucleus
The Strong Force
Intramolecular Bond

Lesson 2: The Ionic Bond

Law of Entropy
How Ionic bonds form molecules
Reaching a lower energy level
Polarity
Ionic bonds
Pauling’s Electronegativity Chart
Atomic Numbers

Lesson 3: The Covalent Bond

Covalent Bonds
Gases
van der Waals forces

Lesson 4: The Polar Covalent Bond

Giving away electrons
Polar covalent bonds
Intramolecular bonds hold atoms
together.
Intermolecular bonds hold molecules
together.
Polarity of a molecule
Dipoles

Lesson 5: The Metallic Bond, Part 1

The Metallic Bond
Metals in the Periodic Table
Transition metals
Electron shells
Block groups of the Periodic Table
Electron configuration

Lesson 6: The Metallic Bond, Part 2

Molecular movement in a metal
Metallic strength
Hard or soft?
Temperature and translational movement
Heat Conduction

Lesson 7: Heat

Sensing cold
Hypothermia
Heat insulation
The Leidenfrost Effect
States of water
Heat capacity
Latent heat of fusion
Vaporization
Steam

Lesson 8: Air Pressure

The boiling point
Air pressure
Barometer
The strength of air pressure
Measuring altitude
Temperature and pressure

Lesson 9: Properties of Water

Oil and water
Micelles and soap
Viscosity
Surface tension
Density
Displacing water
Salt water versus fresh water

Lesson 10: The Mole

Comparing equal numbers of molecules
Lower the freezing point
Weighted average
Converting grams to moles
Converting moles to molecules
Converting moles to grams
Percentage weight
Empirical formula vs. actual formula

Lesson 11: Gases

Coulomb’s Law
Kinetic energy
Ideal Gas Law
Electrolysis
Concentration vs. density
Standard temperature and pressure
(STP)
Partial pressure of gas

Lesson 12: Solutions

Molarity
Molality
Mixtures
Freezing point depression
Colligative property
Phase diagram
Boiling point elevation
Acids and bases
Types of acids
Neutralization of acids and bases
Calculating pH

Lesson 13: Chemical Reactions

Activation energy
Catalysts
Balancing equations
Stoichiometry
Coefficients
Equilibrium state
LeChatelier’s principle
Phase diagram
Equlibrium constant
Solubility product constant

Lesson 14: Orbitals

Subshells
Slots within subshells
Energy levels within slots
Probability clouds
Aufbau Principle
Hund’s Rule
Pauli Exclusion Principle
Ionization energy
Lewis Diagrams
Hybrid bonds
VSEPR (Valence Shell Electron Pair
Repulsion)
Molecular shapes

Lesson 15: Molecular Geometry

Lewis Dot Diagrams
Lewis Dot Diagram Predictions
Filling the Valence Shell
Formal Charges
Forming sp3 Hybrid Bonds
Carbon sp2 Hybrid Orbitals Current
Sigma and Pi bonds
Nitrogen sp3 Hybrid Orbitals
Oxygen sp3 Hybrid Orbitals
Beryllium difluoride
Boron trifluoride
VSEPR
Molecular shapes
Diamonds
Isomers

Lesson 16: Electrochemistry

Oxidation State
Redox
Voltage Cells
Reduction Potential
Calculating Potentials
Voltage
Current
Car Battery
Electroplating
Aluminum Oxide
Iron Rust
Fuel Cells

Lesson 17: Polymers

Formaldehyde, Phenol, and Bakelite
Ethylene and Polyethylene
Strengthening Polyethylene
Natural Polymers
Nylon
Rubber

Lesson 18: The Nucleus

Solar energy
The Strong Force
Neutrons
Making helium
Making heavy elements
Binding energy
The Sun’s fuel

Final Problems

Lessons and Student Dashboard

The student dashboard is easy to navigate.  From the dashboard you can choose the lesson video, or lesson text script, or the test.   After you complete the test, it grades the test and gives the option to retake or continue on to the next lesson.

Below is an example of Lesson 2 The Ionic Bond and within the lesson this is a segment called The Atomic Number.  You can see from this dashboard picture that you can access the Lesson Menu as needed, and a Glossary with definitions on the left.  You can also control the play and pause of the video lesson, and the volume, at the base of the video. You can also go back to a previous segment and watch it again, or skip ahead as desired.

The Glossary of definitions is right next to the video so you can pause the video at anytime and look up a word you may not know and read it’s meaning.

Labs:

Fascinating Chemistry offers the option of Labs for high school credit.  On the student dashboard, they have an option to “Go To Lab”.  Labs are experiments that demonstrate the concept being taught in the lessons. Labs are optional but some states require them for high school credit.  Check with your state to see what is required.

My son likes using this course.  He says it is not difficult if you focus and take time to listen to what is being said.  The teacher speaks clearly and gives good visuals to show what concept is being discussed.  He is so excited that he spends a good deal of time retelling me what he is learning.

Taking an online Fascinating Chemistry quiz.

Word’s of my son: “I Love It!  It’s fascinating! The teacher is easy to follow and he explains everything very well.  I am learning about different kinds of bonds that atoms form.  I am in lesson three and learning about the second way atoms form bonds called covalant.  The first lesson was an introduction to the program and taught me the structure of atoms with protons neutrons and electrons.  The second lesson was learning about ionic bonds, electronegativity, electron affinity, and ionization energy.  So far I understand everything he is explaining. The tests are at the end of the lesson. I like that if I get the answer to a question wrong I can go back and retake the test again. I am really glad I am taking this class.”

Fascinating Chemistry

Free Resources:

Video explaining more about Fascinating Education and a lesson in Calcium.

Video Lesson Periodic Table, Atoms, and Inter-molecular Bonding

Try before you buy.  Fascinating Education offers free lessons of their different courses.  Check out courses and a free sample lesson from each course:

Fascinating Chemistry
Fascinating Biology
Fascinating Physics

Find even more FREE Introduction to Science Lessons.

We highly recommend Fascinating Education courses.  I wish interactive curriculum like this had been available for me when I was in high school. This is a great way to inspire kids to love and succeed at learning about science and how it applies to the real world.

Social Media

Youtube

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Fascinating Education in their home.

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Home School In The Woods: Time Travelers American History Studies Review

If you love learning American History, then you will want to try out the History Through the Ages: Time Travelers American series by Home School in the Woods.

Home School In the Woods Publishing produces creative “hands on” Curriculum and Historical Timelines.  They specialize in teaching history with fun projects that will interest your kids and keep their interest by involving all their senses in the learning adventure.  We are currently reviewing Industrial Revolution through Great Depression in the Time Travelers American series.

HISTORY Through the Ages
Time Travelers American History Study: The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression

25 Hands On History Lessons

Covering 70 years of American History

From The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression.

Suggested grades: 3-8

For individual family use.

Format: CD or Download (Mac & PC Compatible)

Download $27.95

CD $28.95

This curriculum is loaded with printable lessons, printable activity masters, a sample schedule, teacher tips, photos of every projects, resource lists, teacher keys, a “guide-at-a-glance”, and more.

Choose the curriculum format, either CD or Download, that best meets your needs. You will need a computer and printer to use this curriculum.  You will also need a 3-ring binder for the parent/teacher, and a 3-ring binder for each of your students to store everything.

Other items needed include folders, printing / copy paper, card stock paper, colored pencils, glue, tape, scissors, plus a few other items for various projects.

25 HANDS ON HISTORY LESSONS!

The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression contains 25 History Lessons filled with fun hands on activities .

The lessons and activities cover many changes in American history that occurred from the end of the 1800’s to the early 1900’s (approximately 1869 to 1939) as America became a modern industrialized country.

Topics include:

  • The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Growth & Expansion of the Nation
  • The Indian Wars
  • The Gilded Age
  • The Spanish-American War
  • WWI
  • Innovations & Inventors
  • Immigration
  • Orphans
  • Woman’s Suffrage Movement
  • People of Interest who Made America Great
  • Business Tycoons
  • Working Conditions
  • The Progressive Era
  • The Roaring 20s
  • The Stock Market Crash
  • The Dust Bowl
  • and much more!

The lessons are very organized and easy to follow.  Each lesson can be completed in an hour if projects are pared down, or can be stretched out over a few days to include all the projects suggested for that lesson. Pages and projects are coded so that you always know what lesson and what projects go together.  There are printable lessons, project pages, project masters, information sheets, photos of completed projects, teacher helps, and more. There is a sample lesson plan schedule that you can use, or you can skip around and mix up the lessons if it suits your needs.

These History Studies are presented in a cross curricular Unit Study method. They include History, Art, Science, Engineering, Music, Creative Writing, Penmanship, Clothing, Cooking, Research, and more.  The lessons are flexible and can be adapted to the needs of various skill levels and age ranges.  In addition to the lessons, and activities provided, there are lists of materials needed, a section with additional resources and suggestions for books to read, videos to watch, and internet subjects to explore.  You can choose to do as many of the suggested hands on activities and projects for each lesson as you wish.

Suspension bridge project photo and instructions in curriculum

Depending on how many activities you want to do, and how often you do a lesson, will determine how long this curriculum will take to complete.  For example, you can do 1 lesson a week and the suggested activities and this study should last 25 weeks, or you could go faster and complete 3 lessons a week and finish in about 8 weeks or so.  Or go super fast and complete 1 lessen per day and finish in as little as 5 weeks.  It is up to you how fast or slow you wish to go, and how many of the activities you wish to do, to learn the materials covering this period in history. Over 50 activities and projects are included.

Project & Activities

Here are just a few of the 50+ suggested activities and projects:

  • Suspension Bridge
  • Wright Brothers “Flyer”
  • Train & Railroad Booklet
  • America Grows: Mapping the New States
  • Penny Rug
  • Yo-Yo Quilt
  • Paper Tole Craft
  • Flip Book
  • WWI Silk Postcards
  • Creative Writing
  • Fact File Cards
  • Trade Cards
  • Penmanship Pages
  • Turn of the Centuries Scenes Game
  • File Folder Games
  • Notebooking Activities
  • Timeline of History
  • Experiments
  • Depression Era Recipes
  • Depression-Era Dinner
  • A Lap Book with 12 Lap Book Projects

A really cool aspect of this curriculum, is that in addition to all of the hands on projects your kids will get to create, and learning about historical events and wars that helped shaped the nation, they also learn several things about the culture of America during these years.  They learn about the impact of industry and the making and selling of goods and services and also how disasters (natural and man-made) shaped the culture.

The early American culture was made up of hard working immigrants from around the world and native Americans, and in this curriculum you learn about their influence in music, clothing, art, theater / early movies, and also learn about “American” food during this time in history.

Kids get the opportunity to make recipes in several of the lessons.  They also create a recipe box for their final Lap Book to store the recipes in.   At the end of the course they can throw a dinner party for guests or family members.  For this party they decorate from the era, recreate the recipes for a special meal, and play games from this period in history as a final project pulling together all the fun they have had learning about this time in America’s history.

Recipes and corresponding lessons include:

  • Chipped Beef on Toast (Lesson 5)
  • Poor Man’s Meal (Lesson 5)
  • Buttered Noodles with Cracker Crumble (Lesson 10)
  • Meatless Loaf (Lesson 10)
  • Corned Beef Hash (Lesson 15)
  • Shepherd’s Pie (Lesson 15)
  • Chocolate and Rice Pudding (Lesson 20)
  • Depression Cake (Lesson 20)
  • Tuna, Mac, & Cheese Casserole (Lesson 23)
  • Brown Betty (Lesson 23)

Time Travelers American History Study Series

There are currently 7 titles in the Time Travelers American History Study Series:

  • New World Explorers
  • Colonial Life
  • The American Revolution
  • The Early 19th Century
  • The Civil War
  • Industrial Revolution through Great Depression
  • World War II

To learn more about this wonderful History curriculum, check out this video put together by Home School In The Woods about their Time Travelers History Studies Series:

Our Experience:

When I received my product via download, I read through the introduction and printed off the suggested lesson plan.  This curriculum is jam packed with fun hands on learning opportunities! I couldn’t wait to dive into this experience with my kids.

Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression Lesson Plan Schedule

As you can see at first glance in this lesson plan, there is a lot of great learning opportunities with these lessons.  Rather than try to go to fast, we decided to take it slow and do 1 lesson a week.  There are at least two hands on activity projects with each lesson.  It can be overwhelming at first when you see all the projects listed and printable material included.  Taking it slow will help mom’s plan ahead and have time read through this material a few days in advance before you plan to start so you can get prepared.

After I looked over the first couple of lessons, I printed out a few and the corresponding activity instructions and masters and put these into a three ring binder to keep them organized. There is a printable notebook cover that you can use for your 3-ring binder.

The parent/teacher’s binder will house the lesson reading text, direction pages of projects, the “Guide-at-a-Glance,” teacher keys, and teacher helps. There is also a cover for the student binder and you can choose to print in color or in black and white for the student to color in and personalize. The student binder houses all the stuff the kids do in their lessons such as Timelines, Newspaper, Penmanship and Creative Writing activities, etc.

HANDS ON ACTIVITIES:

Here are a few pictures of some of the hands on activities from our learning adventures with this curriculum:

The Wright Brother’s Flyer:

Brooklyn Bridge Project:

Learning about bridge construction was one of the historical projects the older boys really enjoyed.  They learned about the construction of the first suspension bridge in America. The curriculum suggested making a bridge with the cardboard from milk cartons and string.

However, we don’t have milk cartons to use (we buy raw milk in 1 gallon jugs), so we brainstormed some ideas.  We made one version with a granola bar box.

Then my older sons came up with their own version of suspension bridges with craft sticks, hot glue, cordage, etc. and then explored more ideas on other kinds of bridges from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s too.

They made several models, took them apart, refigured their plans, and built them again.

Model of suspension bridge in progress.

Model of traditional truss support bridge.

Another suspension bridge experiment in progress.

Another suspension bridge in action

WWI Soldier’s Journal:

Another project they really enjoyed was creating a WWI Soldier’s Journal with real pictures of what life was like for a soldier.  This journal will contain photos and letters.

Soldier’s Journal

One of my son’s wanted these photos to feel sturdy so he went an additional step with these printed pictures (and several other paper crafts) and he cut and glued file folder onto the back to make them stronger.  The other boys didn’t reinforce their journal photos.  You could also laminate these projects to keep them nice, water proof them, and help them last longer.

WWI Ammo Belt:

Part of the Soldier’s Ammo Belt

Inside the pockets are various items such as a paper map, ID cards, a mini Soldier’s New Testament, mini timeline of the war, etc. and there are additional facts about the WWI in the flaps when you open the pouches.

This project is supposed to be mounted on a paper base, but one of my son’s wanted to actually wear the WWI ammo belt.

After reinforcing the printed and cut out project with manila folder and glue, (he really enjoy’s doing this by the way), he then made belt loops for the back and was able to put the ammo belt project on his belt and wear it around.

He is quite creative and likes to role play and this gave him a military gear costume piece he is quite proud of.

He also turned some of the other projects into wearable pieces as well. The cool thing is all these pieced he reinforced can also go back into his notebook or Lap Book when he is done playing with them.

Field Trips:

Part of the beauty of homeschooling that you can lay down the books and worksheets and get outside and go somewhere and relate what you have been studying to the real world.  If you can’t make it outside for a field trip, you can always view a virtual field trip online.   Check out videos on “youtube” for lots of ideas / suggestions for virtual field trips related to the time period or a specific topic, it is easy to find.  Field trips are not required in this curriculum, but we try to include field trips in every unit study adventure we do.

We love field trips!  We try to keep our expenses as low as possible for activities because we have a large family and things add up quickly.  We usually look for free field trips / things to see and do that go along with our studies.  Usually that also means it has to be a “day trip”, somewhere within a 3 hour drive or less so we can make it back home before dark.  We actually started this habit before we had kids.  Our local town advertised a booklet called “One Tank Trips” and it kind of became our method for travel and seeing new things and learning history of the area.  We are fortunate that for most of the time we have been married, we have lived within a short drive of a lot of history that we could see in 1 day or 1 tank trips.  So we have tried to keep up this tradition with our kids.

During this study we went to see several really cool things.  We saw a navy battle ship in Wilmington, NC and a suspension bridge near Charleston, SC, and a shipping canal that was made and used during this time period for shipping goods on the Catabwa SC river.

Battle Ship at Wilmington NC

There is a pedestrian suspended bridge in Greenville, SC at Falls Creek Park that we have been to see a few years ago.  We used to spend some of our Sunday afternoons after church there and play with the kids and explore the history.  There is a foundation of an old mill there too.   We didn’t make it back out to see it for this learning project, but hope to go see it again soon. But we did drive out to see a suspension bridge that you can drive on near Charleston, SC.

Suspension Bridge near Charleston, SC

This one is on Highway 17 in South Carolina along the Atlantic Ocean.  The kids were amazed going across this bridge suspended over the open waters between mainland and islands on the SC border.

Log House from 1800’s

Sign for the canal on Catawba river used for transport of products.

Remains of old canal used for loading boats in the 1800’s along the Catawba River

Ford at Catawba River

Family hike to see the 1800’s canal and ford on the Catawba River.

In the recent past we have also visited other sights related to this time in American history and would go great with this unit study. I will mention them here because it might give other families some ideas of things to go and visit.   Some of the places we have been related to this period in history are a mill, we visited the Wright Brother’s Museum in Modoc Indiana, and the Historical Museum of Flight in Hendersonville, NC and both lay claim to the Wright Brother’s fame.  They both have life size Wright Brother’s air planes and the Hendersonville one also shows planes from different wars. There are also models the kids can climb in and explore.  We have also been to the Air Force base in Dayton Ohio where the kids have seen planes from all throughout history and they have a huge room full of WWI planes.  We took a ferry ride on the Atlantic ocean of the coast of the Carolina’s where big ships come in with goods on barges.  Before suspension bridges were made across rivers and ocean bays, transport ferries and boats were the only method across these waterways.  We have also visited and rode the historic trains at the train museums in Statesville, NC and Knights Town, Indiana. We on a boat in the canal at Metamora, and took the train at Metamora Indiana, the train at Knights Town Indiana, the train at Branson, Missouri, that goes across a huge tall wooden bridge overlooking an incredible gorge in the Ozark Mountains. Our kids have really enjoyed these adventures.

We will be working through this curriculum for quite some time, and my kids are loving all the activities.  We like to take it slow and tweak as we go, see and do as much as we can, and this curriculum is perfect for that.  With so many lessons and projects, it will probably last us until the end of this year.

One of the next to last projects is to create a Lap Book with all of the wonderful projects your kids have made.  A Lap Book is kind of like a scrapbook to store all your memories of the learning adventure.  The outer cover is made from a file folder(s).  We are looking forward to creating our Lap Books.  We have added in a couple of items a head of schedule because we were doing this as a review post, but we have a long way to before we are actually ready to put it all together.  These Lab Books will look really neat when they are finished.

My advice to other homeschool families (especially if you have lots of kids using this curriculum) is to “plan a head”, read a head, print out everything you need for one or two lessons at a time. Collect whatever additional materials for the lesson you will need.  There is a lot of material to print and suggested projects covered in this curriculum. That fact alone equals a ton of fun for the kids!  Remember, you don’t have to print or do every activity listed, these are suggestions and you can tweak this curriculum how ever it best fits for you.  Just take it at a pace that is comfortable for your family and have loads of fun with it!

We love this curriculum and highly recommend it to everyone!

Home School In The Woods

Home School In The Woods is a “hands-on history” curriculum company. They carry a huge variety of projects.  I have only told you about the Time Traveler Series.  Check out their huge range of products and various title series they have to offer, and the free lessons and timeline samples they give away.  I am sure you and your kids will have a blast with these hands on learning adventures.

Timeline Materials
Map Sets
Time Travelers
Project Passport
Activity-Paks
Lap-Paks
Activity Studies
À-La-Carte

Be sure to get your free Erie Canal lesson from their newest product A-La-Carte when you use the code “alacarte” at checkout.  This is a great time to study about the Erie Canal because it is the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the canal.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoolinthewoods
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HSintheWoods 
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hsinthewoods/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Homeschoolinthewoods/posts
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrKq6iLty2fpB6R6ZpcUb8A

Homeschool Review Crew

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Hewitt Homeschooling: My First Report Review

If your kids enjoy fun hands on curriculum that offers a unit study approach, then they will love using My First Report from Hewitt Homeschooling.

Hewitt Homeschooling offers a wide variety of curriculum options for elementary, middle school, and high school students.  We are reviewing My First Report today, but be sure to check out the different kinds of products they have to offer.

My First Report

My First Report

Various Topic Themes

Unit Study Format

For grades 1–8

(depending on the skill level)
Grades 1-2 (with parental direction)
Grades 3-4 (independent)
Grades 5–8 (remedial work)

$8.95 each

or

SET of 14 Titles for $69.95

(40% savings)

My First Report uses a step by step approach to help elementary age students learn about a topic they are interested in and write a report about it.  This is a unique approach using unit studies to motivate kids to learn how to write mini reports on various subjects.  This curriculum helps students reach new challenges as they learn new skills, and learn to express their knowledge and ideas in complete sentences of their own.

Skills:

My First Report uses a variety of skills and encourages research.  This curriculum is designed for kids in 3rd – 4th grades, but can be used for younger students in 1st-2nd grades (with the parents help), or used by older students in 5th-8th grades too.

Skills used in My First Report include:

Research (Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Books, Online, Interview, etc)
Organizing
Sorting
Writing
Penmanship
Vocabulary
Reading
Critical Thinking

Unit Study Format:

My First Report topic themes are cross curricular and are designed as unit studies.  Each theme topic covers about 8-12 weeks of study and activities. You can go faster or slower depending on the needs of your family.

Each topic theme you purchase includes a number of corresponding worksheets (vocabulary word puzzles, research questions, maps, report forms, etc) and suggested hands on activities.

My First Report includes lots of optional suggested activities.  You can do as many or as few of the activities you chose.  The unit study is a beneficial method to cover a wide range of subjects and opportunities for students to learn hands on about the topic theme.

Various subject areas are incorporated into the study and will prepare your student to write an informed report about what they have learned.  Cross curricular subject areas include:

Math
Reading
Social Studies
Music
Art
Language
History
Science
Health
P.E.
Bible
Suggested Field Trips

Topic Theme Titles:

Each My First Report retails for $8.95.  Hewitt Homeschooling also offers a huge discount if you purchase a bundle set of 14 topic themes together for $69.95

My First Report: Focus On The World
My First Report: Music
My First Report: Transportation
My First Report: Weather
My First Report: Me
My First Report: Famous People
My First Report: Wild Animals / Large Mammals
My First Report: Wild Animals / Small Mammals
My First Report: Pets/Farm Animals
My First Report: Bugs and Worms
My First Report: Birds
My First Report: Reptiles/Amphibians
My First Report: Plants
My First Report: Solar System
My First Report: Marine Life
My First Report: Olympics
My First Report: Outdoor Activities
My First Report: Sports
My First Report: My State
My First Report: Eastern United States
My First Report: Western United States
My First Report: Middle United States
My First Report: Southern United States
My First Report: Lewis and Clark Expedition

Our Experience:

We chose to write about our experience with My First Report: Focus On The World for the purpose of this review.  We have also began using My First Report: Weather . This curriculum is so fun to do and easy to implement.  We are using several titles from the series through out our homeschool year.

My First Report: Focus On The World
My First Report: Weather
My First Report: Outdoor Activities
My First Report: Music
My First Report: Transportation
My First Report: Wild Animals / Small Mammals
My First Report: Birds
My First Report: Reptiles/Amphibians

After we finish Focus on the World and Weather, I have scheduled Outdoor Activities for the summer, and the remaining titles are scheduled for fall. Once you try these out you will see why kids enjoy doing them.  My kids are having so much fun.

Everything is written out for you and easy to follow.  Each My First Report contains 50-60+/- pages including reproducible forms, worksheets, suggested reading and resources, and a very detailed unit study.

My First Report are illustrated and full color on heavy paper.  The pages arrived already hole punched, so it was easy to put each unit into a three ring binder for convenience.

Over the course of several weeks, the students are given small research projects that go along with the theme of the unit based on the title you chose.   Our unit was Focus on the World and contained a World Geography and Missions around the world theme.

In My First Report: Focus On The World, we learned about 13 different regions around the world.  Learning about 1 region a week, this title in the series would last about 13 +/- weeks or so.

Our research projects included learning about the cultures of people, languages, geography, animals, etc on each continent and learning how they were impacted by missionaries.  Each time we focused on a specific region, for example South America, there was a corresponding map and research questions to complete.

Unit study projects can be applied to each research project.  You can chose to do as much or as little of these optional activities as you like.  Below I have shared a few examples for you to see of the different unit study projects we did specific to the South America region.  When your student is ready, have them write their report from the research they did and information they have learned.  There are report masters included in the packet for them to fill in.

They can choose to write their report with or without a picture.

For South America for example, some of the additional unit study activities we did included:

Bible Copy Work & Penmanship & Vocabulary:

We read a bible verse and practiced re-writing it neatly.

The kids did a word puzzle included in the packet.

We also wrote out a rough draft of the report by writing down answers to research questions and then forming the information into paragraphs.

Reading:

We read about Brazil.

Read about Animals and Birds of South America.

Art:

created sketches, painted, and drew with colored pencils various projects about Parrots.

Plan to learn to weave a traditional project.  We saw brightly colored woven place mats on our food field trip that we would like to replicate.

Social Studies / Culture / Foods:

Learned about holidays and foods from the region.  Made a traditional meal.

Field Trips:

Ate traditional South American foods at a local restaurant.

We have plans to visit a local missions outreach that traslates bibles and sends them with missionaries around the world.  They have a museum and local housing for missionaries on sabatical and we hope to visit them too.

We also have plans to visit the zoo to see various animals from around the world.

Missions:

Interviewed a retired radio broadcaster who has been taking the message of Jesus into various nations around the world on short wave radio for over 40+ years.

Interviewed Nadia, a woman who works as a waitress at a local restaurant.  She was born in Columbia and lived in Venezuela and Brazil before coming to the USA.  We also had the opportunity to talk to her about faith in Jesus.

Music & Math & Language:

Learned songs in Spanish.

Practices words and counting in Spanish.

The same woman, Nadia, from South America also taught the kids a song in Spanish, taught them the names of money, how to say various family members (mother, father, brother, sister, baby, etc), and foods in both Portugese and Spanish.

Science:

Learned about the Amazon Rain Forest Habitat and Animals.  We chose to learn more about parrots in the rain forest (animals vary in different regions and we learned about other animals such as tigers, elephants, monkeys, etc from around the world for other locations).

I found coloring pages for animals online and we also took some art lessons creating parrot projects in an art course the kids are taking.

The kids then made several more art projects related to parrots.  One of my son’s liked the parrots so much he drew a parrot in the box for his report on South America.   As you can see, we really enjoy using these products.  We are learning lots of great information and having fun at the same time.

The My First Report products are consistently well written across all the various titles.  We first tried out a couple of Hewitt Homeschooling My First Report (Bugs and Worms and Solar System) a few years ago with our older kids when they were a lot younger, and we continue to be impressed with all the information the kids learn. Now our younger kids are benefiting too from all of these awesome hands on learning adventures.

My First Report are fun for the whole family, from the young to the old, including grandparents.   The thing I like most about unit studies is they are flexible and can be adjusted to use in any way, and for just about any age, that meets the needs of your family.  These would also be great for summer boredom busters, study groups, summer school, Sunday School, or afterschool learning adventures too.   This is a great curriculum resource and I would encourage other homeschool families to work My First Reports into their learning adventures.

Be sure to check out the various products from Hewitt Homeschooling.   I am planning to include some of their Lightning Literature curriculum for various ages of my kids next year.  For sure I would like to try the Lightning Literature: American Mid-Late 19th Century for my older boys, and many others look great too.

A few of the curriculum categories Hewitt Homeschooling has to offer include:

My First Reports
Lightning Literature
State Chronicles
Unit Programs
Hewitt Readers
Math-It
Winston Grammar
and much more!

Social Media

Stay in touch with Hewitt Homeschooling for all the latest news and updates through their social media links:

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/HewittHomeschooling

Twitter
https://twitter.com/HewittOnline

Pinterest
http://www.pinterest.com/hewittonline/

Google Plus
https://plus.google.com/b/115323246990194958229/+HewittHomeschoolingResources/posts

Hewitt Blog
http://hewitthomeschoolingresources.blogspot.com/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Hewitt Homeschooling products with their families.

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Novare Science & Math: Introductory Physics ~ Review

We are currently reviewing Introductory Physics in our homeschool from Novare Science & Math.

The author and teacher, John D Mays, cares that students retain what they have learned.  He has revolutionized helping students master learning the sciences and mathematics that will benefit them the rest of their life, no matter what they choose to do in their future.

My son is so impressed with this Introductory Physics course, that he has told me he would love to review several more courses written by John D. Mays at Novare Science & Math.

Introductory Physics

General Chemistry

Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home

Science for Every Teacher

Memoria Press and Potter’s School have recently began carrying Novare Science & Math curriculum products for homeschoolers.  The Homeschool Review Crew is currently reviewing Novare Science & Math courses for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Be sure to see the links at the end of this post to find out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using these products with their families.

Introductory Physics

Hardback Student Text Book

376 Pages

Illustrated

   Grades 9-12

Retails $75

This course contains 13 Chapters broken down into numerous lessons, 28 quizzes, 23 reviews, 2 semester exams (1 mid and 1 final), experiments, etc. and is meant to be used over the course of an entire school year.  A sample schedule is given for how the course can be started in the fall semester and run the entire school year over the course of approximately 53 weeks.

Introductory Physics can be used with high school students who have had Algebra 1.  The Author, John D Mays, mentions in the text book that he has taught a modified version of the course to 9th graders who have taken pre-Algebra.   He recommends that if teaching this course to 9th graders, then you should modify the course by leaving out chapters 8 and 13 because these two chapters contain more challenging Algebraic math meant for older high school students who have taken Algebra 1 or higher level math.

John D Mays teaches this Introductory Physics course from the perspective of the Christian faith. He not only cares that students master and retain the material, but he cares about their soul and cares that they know the truth.   He shares his faith with the students, and teaches that the foundation of science and mastery of every subject in life cannot be separated from the truth of the bible.

Introductory Physics text book includes:

  • Preface for Teachers
  • Preface for Students
  • 13 Chapters:
  1. The Nature of Scientific Knowledge
  2. Motion
  3. Newton’s Laws of Motion
  4. Energy
  5. Momentum
  6. Atoms, Matter and Substances
  7. Heat and Temperature
  8. Pressure and Buoyancy
  9. Waves, Sound and Light
  10. Introduction of Electricity
  11. DC Circuits
  12. Fields and Magnetism
  13. Geometric Optics
  • Glossary (Large list of words and definitions)
  • Appendix A (Reference Data)
  • Appendix B (Chapter Equations and Objectives)
  • Appendix C (Lab Experiments)
  • Appendix D (Main Scientists and their contributions)
  • Appendix E (Making Accurate Measurments)
  • Appendix F (References)
  • Appendix G (Image Credits) there are a lot of images!
  • Index

Prerequisites:

  • Algebra 1
  • Pre-Algebra (for 9th graders if leaving out chapters 8 and 13)
  • Scientific Notations
  • Perform Unit Conversions
  • Use Metric Prefixes
  • Determine Significant Digits
  • Able to solve equations for unknown variables
  • Able to use a calculator, compute (add and subtract) to the power of 10 or use the EE or EXP buttons on their scientific calculator.

Lab Experiments & Journal:

There are five lab experiments in this course.  Students must maintain a Lab Journal for their experiments / written work during the duration of the course.  Lab experiments must be written on graph paper (quadrille ruled), written in pencil, and it will also include everything they did in all five laboratory experiments.

Instructions for the Lab Journal and Lab Experiments are included in “Appendix C” located at the back of the text book. Each experiment requires a written report and it is recommended that you purchase a copy of “The Student Lab Report Handbook” from the website for detailed instructions on how to write these reports for all of your Science courses.  Each experiment in Introductory Physics will require supplies.  Some supplies may be items you already have on hand and others may be items you will need to purchase.  Be sure to look through the items needed and have them on hand a head of time for each experiment.

Companion Products:

The textbook is excellent and can stand alone.  However, in addition to the text book, it is recommended to pick up a few of the companion products, especially the Resource CD, to maximize the learning experience for the student.

Resource CD $50

(contains teacher resources, weekly reviews, quizzes, tests, ect.)

The Student Lab Report Handbook $22.50

Solutions Manual to Accompanying Introductory Physics $15

Favorite Experiments for Physics and Physical Science $30

Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science $17

Experiments for Introductory Physics and ASPC $20

(contains teacher instructions and experiments)

Our Experience with Introductory Physics

We received the Introductory Physics hardback student text book, and were also given access to download the material from the Resources CD for the purpose of writing this review (the download option is not available for sale, the Resource CD is only available for purchase on CD).  My son has read through the Preface for Teachers and Students, Chapter 1 “The Nature of Scientific Knowledge”, looked over the Appendixes for vocabulary and to familiarize himself with some of the learning objectives, and is currently working through Chapter 2 “Motion”.  He is taking it slow and loving it so far.

After using this course for the past several weeks, we are very pleased with the materials.  The book is wonderful and a great read!  The author expresses himself very well and my son likes the personal touches the author has added about his beliefs and experiences.   The Resource CD is very important to use with this course .  It contains the course overview, sample course schedule, 28 quizzes, 23 weekly reviews, verbal prompt questions, both the semester mid-term exam and year final exam, and teaching tips and sample answers to verbal prompt questions. Beginning with week 3, the students are given a weekly review guide to follow and their are 23 of these guides.  You could just use the textbook only for this course, and keep meticulous study notes, but I think you would miss out on a lot of the learning comprehension without also using the Resource CD.

In each chapter of the text book, key Physics concepts are reviewed, and then rehearsed over and over throughout the year while new material is being added lesson by lesson, and chapter by chapter.  Verbal prompts and written technical communication is also emphasized.

 

It is a good idea with this course to have a quiet place to study and make a “study kit” so your student has everything they need on hand.  The concepts are challenging and the more your student can focus without distractions (a quiet space away from younger siblings, etc) the better.  Plan to spend an hour a day (at least three or more days a week) to stay on top of the learning and reviews.  Homeschooling is flexible, so go at a pace that feels comfortable to your student.

We are taking it slow.  My son likes to go outside to study if the weather is nice.  He says it connects him to God’s creation and it is more enjoyable.  So I made a portable study kit for him specific for this course and it contains a highlighter (to mark his book), a pencil, an eraser, a notebook, a Lab Experiment Notebook made of graph paper, a ruler for measuring and drawing lines, and a scientific calculator, and I stored all of these items in a three ring binder.  I will add in additional things as the need arises.  He will need several items for the lab experiments.  In the 3 ring binder, I put a zippered case to hold the loose items, and the notebook, subject dividers, and it is wide enough that his text book fits easily in it too.   I also printed and hole punched PDF copies of the weekly schedule, weekly review guides, and chapter quizzes and put them into the binder too.  So he is able to study outside or wherever he finds a quiet comfortable spot to focus on learning the material.

The notebook is needed for taking chapter notes such as summarizing the main ideas and understanding chapter objectives and writing down vocabulary words, etc.  In addition, the weekly reviews have projects for students to complete to build on their mastery of the information.  The weekly reviews are handed out at the start of each week starting with week three.  A handy way to store these is organized in your binder for review. Students are also instructed to make their own flash cards for each chapter and review these regularly.  You can store flash cards in a rubber band and put them in a zippered case in the binder, or an index card filer, or for ease of use to start out, or into a plastic sleeve page designed for the three ring binder.   I hope these steps will help my son be organized, successfully master this course.

I really like the concepts John D Mays has built into his Novare Science & Math curriculum.  He emphasizes starting with Introductory Physics as the basic foundation for learning science and math, then building on this with the upper level science courses from there.  His strategy is to focus on three areas that he says has proven again and again to boost student academic achievement: Mastery, Integration, and Kingdom Perspective.  Please take a few minutes to check out the videos below where the author explains his strategy in helping students strengthen their faith while they master the information they are studying.

Mastery:

The goal is to master the subject without getting overwhelmed or distracted with information that won’t be remembered.  The way to master a subject is to reduce the amount of information that is manageable.   A reduced-scope curriculum enables students to learn a reasonable amount of material deeply, instead of giving shallow attention to topics that they will not understand or be able to remember.  Students who master material they learn when they are younger, will most likely outperform their peers when they reach upper level classes.

The Mastery strategy uses:

  • continuous review,
  • ongoing accountability for retention of material,
  • building with basic skills
  • adding in new material

Integration:

Integration involves developing and integrating critical points that are effective. These integration points should include:

  • integrate math skills in science classes
  • integrate science skills in math classes
  • develop good written expression on exams, lab reports, etc.
  • allow the truth of God and his goodness and beauty to point the nature of science and math knowledge
  • develop specific learning objectives to be understood and evaluated in assessments.

Kingdom:

Instead of conflict between faith and science, Novare Science & Math has set it’s sights on improving how teachers can share with students the relationship between science/mathematics and the loving Creator, our Heavenly Father, who made the universe and everything in it, and then lovingly gave it to us.

We were thrilled with the opportunity to use this curriculum in our home and share our experience with you.  Be sure to check it out and see if it will be a good fit for your family too.

About the Author:

John D Mays is the author and founder of Novare Science & Math.  He has been teaching in various positions (highschool, college, state and Christian schools and various workshops, etc) since 1985.  He is a well known speaker and educator.  He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education from the University of Houston, a Master of Liberal Arts degree from St. Edwards University, and graduate studies in the field of Physics. John has also worked in various fields including teaching, engineering, engineering management, Math and Science Department Chair, Optics Lab Director, etc.  He has put together a team of people, including some of his family members, to help him accomplish great curriculum and programs through Novare Science & Math and point students and teachers to a greater appreciation of Father God, the true Creator of everything.

Social Media

Stay in touch with Novare Science & Math through their social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/novarescienceandmath/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/novaresciencema/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/novarescienceandmath/?hl=en
Newsletter/BLOGhttps://www.novarescienceandmath.com/category/newsletter/

Homeschool Review Crew

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Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series Review

My kids get excited about reading great books!  They were thrilled when we were recently asked to review Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.

American History comes to life in  Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series where a fictional history teacher named Rush Revere takes middle school kids on a journey back in time to explore true and exciting events about the foundation of the United States of America.

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series

5 Hardback Books

  • Rush Revere and the Pilgrims
  • Rush Revere and the First Patriots
  • Rush Revere and the American Revolution
  • Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner
  • Rush Revere and the American President

Illustrated: real photos of historical documents, famous people, events, and locations, as well as fictional illustrations of Rush Revere, his horse and students.

Available in English (Rush Revere and the Pilgrims is also available in Spanish).

Recommended for ages 8-12, but older students, and even the entire family, will enjoy these books too.

We received all five books in the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series for this review.

In each book in this series, fictional History Teacher Rush Revere travels through time to the past to share the true and exciting events that helped to shape the United States of America.

Even though the teacher and his talking horse, the students, and time travel are fictional, the rest of the historical events in these stories are true.  Some of the illustrations are of the fictional characters, however many of the photos are of actual real people, real documents, actual locations where events took place, and you can still go visit many of these locations today.

Book 1: Rush Revere and the Pilgrims

This story begins on the ship traveling to America called the Mayflower.  The story follows the Pilgrims through their first winter in the New World. American History Teacher Rush Revere time-travels to the past with two students to see American history first-hand.  In this book kids learn about building forts, sword fights, explorations, and learn about people like Squanto and William Bradford.  Kids will also learn about the first Thanksgiving.  Featured in the book are full color illustrations and original documents from this time in history.

After reading this book, your kids will want to keep reading all of the books in the series. In this book kids are introduced to Rush Revere who is an American History Teacher.  Rush Revere is assisted on his journeys with a talking horse named Liberty.  Together they discuss facts of history and take kids on fascinating journeys to the past to see various events unfold.  This this time-travel theme continues through each of the books in the series.

Book 2: Rush Revere and the First Patriots

In this book kids learn about the First Patriots including exceptional Americans such as Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry.  They also learn about struggles with King George III from Great Britain.  This book is filled with illustrations and documents that bring this time in history to life.

I was surprised to learn a few of the details in this book were different or left out of my studies when I was growing up.  For example, I didn’t know that the symbol of America was a female rattle snake.  I thought the first symbol was an eagle.  But the rattle snake, eagle, and pine tree were the first symbols of our nation.  The first flag that represented separation from England included thirteen stripes and a rattle snake, not stars. I had always been taught about the stars, but not taught about the snake.

We were inspired by this book to look up a few details for further study about the snake symbol that came to represent the “American spirit” during the Revolution against England.  On Wikipedia I found the serpent drawing (mentioned in the book) that Ben Franklin used in his news paper with the phrase “join or die” that inspired the 13 colonies to become organized against the attacks from French and the American Indians, and a few years later helped them become united and fight back against the King of England because of unfair treatment.

by Ben Franklin (image source Wikipedia)

Then I found out that the serpent symbol continued to represent the American people.  The rattlesnake became the symbol for America and was used on the first American Flags.  The serpent symbol inspired the yellow flag with phrase “don’t tread on me” that is considered one of the first American flags and is still used as a symbol of patriotism today.

1775 Flag (image source Wikipedia)

We also found another serpent inspired flag called the serpent and stripes, that is still in use today.  This is one of first flags of America and is still flown on navy ships.

1776 First Naval Jack Flag (image source Wikipedia)

Before reading Rush Revere and the First Patriots, I had never heard of the serpent symbol representing the US, but after doing a little research I have learned it has been in continuous use for 266 +/- years since Ben Franklin began using this idea to help the colonists become organized to fight back against any oppressors both foreign and domestic.

Book 3: Rush Revere and the American Revolution

This book focuses on the life of the son of a soldier.  His father is deployed overseas.  His mother is worried about the affects this is having on her son. Eventually the boy learns why freedom is so important and to value the sacrifice his dad is making for him and the future of the country. In this book you learn about Dr. Joseph Warren, John Hancock, and George Washington in addition and learn even more about the journey for freedom in American history.

Book 4: Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner

In this book, kids read about national landmarks including the Washington Monument, the White House, and American government.  They learn about the writing of the national anthem, Dolley Madison, pickle barrels, museum guards, Redcoats, American patriotism and more. Included are full color illustrations, photos, and historical documents.

Book 5:  Rush Revere and the American President

In this book kids learn about the American elections, American leadership and the early presidents, vice presidents, first ladies, Washington, Adams and Jefferson. They also follow along as one of the kids in the story runs for student-body president and learn what skills are required to be successful and the value of serving others.  Full color illustrations, photos, and historical documents related to this time in history is included.

Rush Revere Activities

In addition the history books, the Adventures of Rush Revere website offers kids an opportunity to expand on their learning.  They can join a book club, enter contests, complete activities, and learn even more.  They offer a few fun online games and activities, and additional resources.  You can also read about the author and additional information that inspired the characters.  In the Homeschool Depot (also the Education Depot), there are student study guides that go along with the books and additional resources for teachers.

My sons are enjoying reading these books and learning about American History.  In addition to reading at home, they have also taken them in the van to read on long drives.  Giving kids a book to read while you take a drive is a great way to get them to sit still and read, especially for boys because they always seem to have tons of energy and don’t always want to sit still. These books are so interesting that my kids wanted to sit still, read, and couldn’t wait to find out what happens next.

I am looking forward to re-reading these books again with all of my kids, and using the study guides and activities as unit studies for our American History this fall.  I would definitely recommend these books to everyone!

Perhaps by reading this book series, you and your family will be inspired to visit some of these locations, or do more explorations and learning adventures to learn more about the events, people, and places that helped to shape our country.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rushrevere
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rushrevere
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSFc9ZP_GpWdARuKAl08Wdw

Homeschool Review Crew

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Internship for High School Credit ~ Review

Are you looking for an internship opportunity for your teenager?  Did you know your kids can earn high school credit for the real life experiences they gain doing an internship?  Anytime of year you can fit in an internship experience will become an asset to your high school student’s future.

A great place to start your internship journey is a course offered by Apologia Educational Ministries called Internship for High School Credit.

Internship for High School Credit

Spiral Bound Text & Workbook All In One

99 pages

5 Chapters

Recommended for 9th -12th grade.

Retails $33.00

Internship for High School Credit workbook teaches students and parents all the steps necessary for obtaining and documenting their internship experience.   This workbook is intended to be used for either 1 or 2 semesters.  It includes the worksheets and activities to cover both semesters.  Most states require a full year of study or 150 hours of instruction to earn a full credit on the high school transcript, and a half year of study for a half credit. You can check out your state where you live to find out how much credit is earned for each course taken.

A typical school semester is 16 weeks long.  In general, for most students to earn 1/2 credit per course per semester.  They will need to combine the instruction in the workbook and intern on the job about 5 hours a week for 15/16 weeks to earn 1/2 credit. This could be done in conjunction with this workbook over a semester or over a summer to equal about 75 hours.  To earn 1 full credit for their transcript, a student will need to complete two semesters or 5 hours a week for 30+ weeks, or 10 hours a week for 15/16 weeks, to equal about 150 hours to reach the full credit.  

Benefits from doing a high school internship include:

  • Explore a career of choice
  • Gain experience related to career goals
  • Gain marketable skills
  • Build confidence
  • Bolster resume for future job applications.
  • Increase potential job offers.
  • Learn day to day job responsibilities.
  • Discover potential likes and dislikes about a job.
  • Discover if a college degree is needed for a particular job of interest and understand how to set goals to get the job you desire.
  • Focus college major more closely on job interests.
  • Bolster College Application
  • Increase College Scholarship Opportunities

This course workbook contains 5 Chapters that cover about 40 +/- valuable lessons including worksheet activities and evaluations to complete.

Chapters and lessons include:

Part I: Getting Started

  • Determining the Type of Internship
  • Choosing a Company
  • Preparation
  • Receiving High School Credit
  • Writing a Résumé
  • Letter of Introduction
  • Sample Letter of Introduction
  • Sample Student Résumé
  • The Interview
  • After the Interview
  • Gearing Up for the First Day

Part II: Information for Parents

  • Choosing an Internship Location
  • Child Labor Laws
  • Transcript Documentation
  • Course Title and Number
  • Number of Credits
  • Grades

Part III: First Semester

  • How to Use the Worksheets
  • Semester Goals
  • Weekly Worksheet I
  • Weekly Worksheet II
  • Weekly Worksheet III
  • Weekly Worksheet IV
  • Midterm Work Performance
  • End-of-Semester Work Performance
  • Skills Gained
  • First Semester Summary
  • A Bonus Benefit

Part IV: Second Semester

  • How to Use the Worksheets
  • Biweekly Worksheet I
  • Biweekly Worksheet II
  • Midterm Work Performance
  • End-of-Semester Work Performance
  • Second Semester Summary

Part V: Course Wrap-Up

  • Final Writing Assignment
  • Thank-You Note
  • Sample Thank-You Note
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Updating Your Résumé

The first two chapters can be completed before the internship begins and include writing resumes, setting goals, and finding internship opportunities.   The last three chapters need to be completed during the actual internship because they involve worksheets including time logs and performance evaluations and finally updating the resume with the new skills and experience acquired.

I highly recommend this course for families with high school age students. This course has taught us how to set initial career goals, write a resume, and plan and evaluate an internship.  We have enjoyed learning with this course and plan for the oldest son to do an internship at some point in the near future.

We have two boys currently of high school age and plan to order another workbook for the second oldest soon, then we have another one coming up in age right behind him too.  So before long, we might have three boys using this course.

Before reviewing this course, both of the older two boys discussed doing an apprenticeship with a construction company, one wanted to work outdoors with his hands and the other wanted to work in the office setting and marketing, and the next son hasn’t yet decided where he would like to focus. I am confident this course will help him too.   This course has given our family new ideas and a method for doing internships to reach new goals.

About the Author:

The author of Internship for High School Credit is Sherri Seligson.  Sherri is a wife, mother, and homeschool mom.  She is also an accomplished author, scientist, researcher, teacher, and speaker at homeschool conventions, retreats, and science fairs.

According to the Apologia website, Sherri Seligson earned a degree in biology/premed with an emphasis in marine science.  She worked as a marine biologist for Disney World.  Sherri also worked for a time with predatory ocean creatures and has published research on shark behavior.

Sherri Seligson has also written several homeschool courses for Apologia Educational Ministries.  She has written the high school science curriculum “Exploring Creation with Marine Biology”, and she is the author and instructor for the DVDs that accompany the high school biology, chemistry, and advanced biology textbooks.  She has also written several unit study e-books for Grace Hill Media to go with the Dolphin Tale films, War Horse, and the DVD educational series Little Angels.

If you are looking for information about where and how to start homeschooling with your kids, then check out all of the great homeschooling products Apologia has to offer such as How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook).

Social Media

Check out Apologia Educational Ministries social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter: www.twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/apologiaworld
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/apologiaworld

Homeschool Review Crew

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Prima Latina Review

The longer we homeschool the more we learn about wonderful products available for learning a variety of languages and subjects at home at any age.  We recently reviewed a wonderful product for learning beginning Latin from Memoria Press called Prima Latina Complete Set.

Prima Latina Complete Set

Student Book (workbook)

Teacher Manual

Lesson DVDs

Pronunciation Audio CD

Flash Cards

Grades 1-4

Retails $90.90

This is a terrific easy-to-use, beginning Latin resource for Elementary age students in grades 1-4.  It was designed to make it easy to transition into the next level of learning Latin.  But honestly older students and adults who have not previously studied Latin would also benefit using this beginning level program prior to moving on.

The Prima Latina Complete Set includes a spiral bound Student Book (workbook), Teacher Manual, Lesson DVD’s, Audio Pronunciation CD, and Flashcards.

All of the resources in this set coordinate together to cover 25 easy to use student friendly lessons.  You can complete this course in 25 weeks or go faster or slower at a pace that suits your needs.  The lessons include:

  • grammar appropriate for primary grades
  • 5 vocabulary words with corresponding English derivatives per lesson
  • A practical Latin phrase per lesson
  • One line of a prayer per lesson that is learned in 5 lessons
  • Easy-to-read, 2-color format
  • Reviews: The exercises in each lesson provide constant review of materials learned throughout the course.
  • Tests: Every 5 lessons, students review the material and take a test (complete with key) to ensure mastery.

Our experience using Prima Latina:

Our daughter is using the Prima Latina Complete Set we were sent for this review.  We like it so much we plan to order additional Student Books (workbooks) for the rest of our kids too.  You need a Student Book for each student because they write in it what they have learned.  However, each family would only need one complete set of the other resources that can be shared. So you could easily use this course with multiple kids in the same house if you get each one their own student book which only costs an additional $15 per student.  That is one fee for the complete set for the first student and only $15 for each additional student to learn the beginning Latin course.  For a large family like ours, with 6 kids, this is a win win!!!

Student Book (workbook):

We love this workbook!  It is so easy to read and write in.  It is spiral bound and printed on both sides of the page.  Everything is broken down into easy to understand steps.

Each lesson contains about 10 sections:

Practical Latin

Lesson

Vocabulary

Latin Prayers

Derivatives

Review Questions (and sometimes additional Questions 2)

Translation

Speaking Latin

Write and Learn

Fun Practice

At the back of the book is a vocabulary appendix that contains an alphabetized list of all the words and phrases learned, what lesson they are found in, and what part of speech.

The student goals in the Student Book are to

  1. Learn basic Latin alphabet and pronunciation
  2. Pronounce, spell, and translate approximately 125 Latin words.
  3. Learn numbers 1-10 in Latin.
  4. Learn the names of the constellations in the sky.
  5. Understand derivatives and the English words that are derived from Latin.
  6. Grammar

Teacher Manual:

The Teacher Manual is also a very easy to use resource.  It mirrors the Student Book and contains the answers to each of the questions. It also contains the vocabulary appendix, reproducible drills and tests and the answer keys, as well as a sample lesson plan, and teaching guidelines in the back.

I like the ease of use of this program.  Even though I have no previous background in learning Latin myself, following the steps in this program is easy for me to teach and learn myself as I go.  This course is great for both the student and the parent/teacher.  Older students above the suggested grade level could teach this program to themselves independently too using the Teacher Manual.

DVD’s:

The DVD’s include 3 discs, with a total of 9 hours (15-20 min./lesson) taught by instructor Leigh Lowe.  She includes a lot of vocabulary practice, explanations, recitation of words and phrases learned, and review.
She uses diagrams and on-screen notes, and examples to convey her meaning to help students understand.

Check out this example of a video lesson with the teacher Leigh Lowe:

Audio Pronunciation CD:

The Audio Pronunciation CD includes pronunciation explanation and direction for each lesson.  We found the CD to be helpful for practicing drills and learning the correct pronunciation of the songs.

Flashcards:

We like using flashcards and the flashcards in the Prima Latina Complete Set are a fun way to practice and memorize the lessons being taught.  They cover vocabulary with derivatives, Latin sayings, conjugations and declensions. The Flashcards can also be used the following year with the next level of Latin training called Latina Christiana.

Memoria Press has done a wonderful job creating this Latin course.  Prima Latina is a student friendly way to teach Latin to young students. It teaches important English and Latin grammar concepts, as well as vocabulary, sayings, prayers, hymns, and many well known constellations in the sky.

Prima Latina Complete Set is a wonderful choice for homeschool families with young children.  It may also be helpful for families with children who are still becoming familiar with English grammar as a second language too. Perhaps it would make a nice intro to Latin for bible study classes or groups. This program will also work great for families who need flexibility and for families who have students of various ages who want to learn Latin at a much slower pace than other programs.  The program is flexible and you can go as fast or as slow as you need too.  Finally it can also be used by families who have students that would like to work toward a rigorous language arts program using Latin as the foundation.  This is a great beginning Latin language resource.  Be sure to check out the next level course called Latina Christiana and the other Latin courses Memoria Press has to offer.

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Be sure to follow Memoria Press on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Memoria Press.

 

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Heroes of History: Daniel Boone Review

How to encourage a reluctant reader?

Put a fun book from the Heroes Of History series in their hands, such as Heroes of History-Daniel Boone from YWAM Publishing and let the fun begin!  The whole family will want to join in learning about the Frontiersman named Daniel Boone.

Heroes of History

Heroes of History has 28 books in the series.  It is a biography series of true stories of men and women who changed the course of history for the better.

Heroes of History series of 28 books includes:

Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom
Alan Shepard: Higher and Faster
Ben Carson: A Chance at Life
Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire
Billy Graham: America’s Pastor
Christopher Columbus: Across the Ocean Sea
Clara Barton: Courage Under Fire
Daniel Boone: Frontiersman
Davy Crockett: Ever Westward
Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor
Elizabeth Fry: Angel of Newgate
Ernest Shackleton: Going South
George Washington: True Patriot
George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound
John Adams: Independence Forever
John Smith: A Foothold in the New World
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life
Louis Zamperini: Redemption
Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map
Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate
Orville Wright: The Flyer
Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side
Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original
Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work
William Bradford: Plymouth’s Rock
William Penn: Liberty and Justice for All
William Wilberforce: Take Up the Fight

Heroes of History-Daniel Boone

Paperback

224 Pages

19 Chapters

Ages 10 and up

Retail: $9.99 on sale for $7.50

Daniel Boone was a Frontiersman who lived from 1734 to 1820.  The stories in this book include events in his life in North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana and some of the many places (Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, etc) he journeyed in-between.  The book follows Boone from childhood into manhood as he sets out to find his own land and build a life for his family, and latter events in adulthood and the lives of his grown children and even covers his peaceful death in his daughter’s home.  The death’s of several of his children both in their youth and adulthood as well as the death of friends and his wife is also shared. Through out his life he helped many other settlers too.  He was very talented, a great hunter, trapper, and a master of survival skills.   He also had incredible courage and lived through many dangerous situations in the wilderness, as well as living through attacks by soldiers, and being taken captive by Indians.  He learned to survey land and helped develop huge regions of American wilderness.

Unit Study

In addition to these wonderful books, YWAM Publishing has also produced downloadable Unit Study guides for the Heroes of History stories.

These Unit Study Guides provide a wonderful curriculum option for families. They are flexible and can be adjusted to suit the skill levels of kids, and the different opportunities and resources families have for hands on learning.

The unit study is filled with loads of fun activities.  This curriculum is engaging and peeks kids interest with related history, geography, writing, culture and arts, and more woven throughout the books.  Kids can be hands on with Heroes of History Unit Studies and experience an important piece of the past!

The Unit Study guide contains discussion questions and answer key, teaching tips, hands on learning of various topics, and several PDF printables for kids to complete such as:

cross word puzzles,

biographical fact sheet,

hidden word puzzles,

historical time line,

maps,

and more.

Some of the hands on learning topics the Unit Study guide covers includes:

Chapter Questions / Reading Comprehension and Discussion:  There are six questions related to each chapter covering vocabulary, facts in the text, comprehension of story, and opinion interpretation.

Student Explorations:

Essay Questions

American History: war, government, land acquisition, boundaries, Native Indians, pioneers,

Geography : maps, study how to do a basic survey and plot out your neighborhood, 

Science and Medicine: learn about diseases of the day including TB and Small Pox and remedies they used to treat the diseases.

Setting Up Displays: butter churn, leather work, satchel, flint lock rifle, Native American beadwork, braded rugs, anvil, bellows, books about outdoor survival skills, Kentucky or North Carolina, books about Daniel Boone’s life, Boone’s family tree, items related to woodsmanship, items related to blacksmiths, leather moccosans, cross stitch samplers, quilts, hat made of raccoon skin with tail, wool blankets, oil lamp, maps of Boone’s travels, etc.

Arts and Crafts: make a fort, make a banner-plaque-or sign with a famous quote,  make a bound book, make a Boone family tree, draw a riffle and lable it’s parts, and give a demonostration how it works, create clay replica’s of animal tracks, sew an apron from a pattern, make a braided rug like the settlers, create your own beadwork like Native American wampum, etc.

Food: learn about wild food, make beef jerky,

Field Trip: visit a location, a carreer, or a factory related to Boone’s life in someway (a town where he traveled or lived, visit a farm, visit a reservation where Native American’s live or have a museum, visit a blacksmith shop, walk through a forest or go on a nature walk, talk to a surveyor or governor or road worker, a rifle manufacture, a hunter, a tanner, etc), visit a museum with displays from Boone’s life or time in history, also suggests if you can’t schedule a field trip or an interview or meeting with someone then plan an online virtual field trip or watch related videos.

Survival Skills : learn tracks and habits of various animals, go on a nature walk, spend time in a forest, go camping, learn to use a knife and a rifle, learn to weave, learn to use various tools used by Boone and settlers and the Native American Indians.

Creative Writing: journals, poems, letters, songs, make a pamphlet that could be used to attract workers to the Wilderness Road project,  etc.

Public Speaking

Drama/Audio Video: create a business presentation for the creation of the Wilderness Road project, create a mock website for a general store with 1780’s products, write and act out a play of Daniel Boone’s life,

Suitable for the whole family.

Our Experience:

We were sent a paperback copy of Heroes of History-Daniel Boone and the online downloadable Unit Study guide.  I asked my reluctant reader to give this book a try because I felt the outdoorsman/woodsman nature of Daniel Boone would appeal to him.  Daniel Boone is such an interesting character.

My 14 year old son would much rather spend time outdoors learning about nature and the bush, than spend his time indoors reading.  He does enjoy reading about various hunting, truck, and car reviews.  But to get him to like reading a book is a big stretch.  It is just not his thing.  So I decided that maybe he would enjoy reading outdoors in his element.  He has a campsite in the backyard that he made himself.  He eventually hopes to put up a hammock, but for now, he is quite happy with it.  I sent him out with the book to see if he would enjoy reading the first chapter.

The story of Daniel Boone appealed to him and this worked out perfectly!   He read enough on that first setting to peak his interest and has read a chapter at a time.  He has enjoyed reading in the van, on errands where there is nothing else to do, and he read some on his bed too which he seldom ever enjoys doing.  I am very thankful he enjoyed this book.  If you want to get a reluctant reader to read, find a subject that appeals to them and an environment they enjoy, and you just might find a solution!

Unit Study

My kids enjoyed this Unit Study very much.  But even more so is the effort put in by our reluctant reader. 

I was really pleased with his efforts and he didn’t flinch when I asked him questions about wheat he read and gave him assignments to complete.

Activities:

We participated in several fun activities during this Daniel Boone Unit Study adventure:

Survival Remedies:

Learn about wild medicine plants that were used to treat illnesses in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  For this we looked up plants online and in our handy field guide and went outside to see if we could find some of them.  We use essential oils made from a variety of plants for many applications.  We plan to make some tinctures and salves soon.

Plantain

Rose

Wild Strawberry

Pine

Clover

Dandelion

Survival Food:

Gather foods outdoors:

Some of the wild foods that we are able to find and some foods we can prepare with these wild plants around our yard and the edge of the woods during this unit study included pine needle tea, pine pollen and pine buds, honey suckle tea and jam, wild strawberry tea and jam, wild rose tea and rose petal jam, dandelion tea, dandelion coffee, dandelion salad, wild lettuce salad, wild grape leaves, wild onions, and wild garlic.  Later this summer we will be able to find wild amaranth, mint, wild elderberry, wild chicory root, walnuts, hickory nuts, pine nuts, cat tails, etc.

When Daniel lived, folks depended on their gardens and hunting to survive. Some people had a few farm animals too, but many people did not have an abundance of animals or foods.  Hunting was difficult and not everyone had access to meat all the time.  If they didn’t grow their own food, then they would have to gather what wild food they could find to survive.  The kids decided to make a meal from what they went out and gathered outdoors. They gathered various greens and onion tops from the spring garden they planted.  Then they washed the greens and cut everything into small pieces.

Next they added water, salt, and seasonings and let it simmer for about twenty minutes.  The soup turned out delicious!

This was a valuable lesson for the kids.  If folks had other ingredients on hand, they would have certainly added them.  Foods such as potatoes, rice, dumplings, corn meal, butter, milk, cheese, edible mushrooms, or fresh or dried meat or fish would definitely increase the nutritional value of a soup like this.  I would encourage others to choose a source of protein, fat, and additional carbs to add in to your soup so it is more filling and satiating. Serving it with a slice of homemade bread and butter or biscuits and jam would also help round out this meal.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread and would have been eaten with a soup like this.  But if you only had edible greens and herbs you gathered to put in this soup, you would still have the basics of many essential vitamins and minerals to help keep you nourished and survive.

Bannock

Bannock is basically campfire bread.  It is easy to make and take on the go or cook on the campfire.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread. You can add baking powder (or buttermilk) if you want it to rise a little of the consistency of a pancake but this step isn’t necessary.

We made our bannock version in the style of THIN UNLEAVENED BREAD. Bannock or thin bread is made by mixing flour, oil, water, and salt together, let the dough rest a while.  Then flatten it with your hands or a rolling pin and cook on a preheated skillet or rock over a fire or the stove for a few minutes until it turns golden.  Then we added some optional dried raisins, cranberries, and cinnamon.  You can leave this bread plain or you can add any dried berries or herbs / spices you think will taste good.

Some people also wrap the dough around a stick and cook the bannock over the campfire.  It can be used as a bread, or as a crust for pizza and or as a pie type shell, cut into strips or squares and used a dumplings in broth, or use the bannock dough filled with other delicious ingredients before baking or frying.

The kids loved making these and they tasted delicious.

Gathering Firewood:

The boys looked for downed limbs for fire wood over the past several weeks and made quite a pile.    Then they used a saw and hatchet to cut the wood into small pieces for their camp fires.

Archery and Knife Survival Skills:

Learn to sharpen and use knives with a sharpening stone and leather, cut with knives, and whittle wood with knives.  All six of the kids learned these skills.

Learn to throw knives and become efficient to use in hunting.

Throwing knives is a lot of fun.  The boys read books and watched videos on how to do this and dad helped them build a standing target board to throw at.  All three of the older boys practiced learning knife skills.

Learn to use a sling shot archery for hunting food and self defense. We plan to get a long bow soon and we also plan to make a homemade bow.

Our 12 year old son has already created a wooden spear with his knife and a tree limb, practices throwing it, and takes it on walks in the woods.

He has started making his long bow.  He chose a birch limb for his long bow and debarked it and shaped it, but he didn’t get it completely finished for this unit study.  He is looking forward to practicing with this bow when it is done.

We have a cross bow the kids have practiced with before, but we didn’t get it out for this unit study either.

For now, the kids practiced using a sling shot and hitting a target in the hopes that one day if needed they could hunt a small animal or a bird for food.

They really enjoyed practicing these skills.

Learn to weave or braid with cordage:

We got a book and learning cards on how to tie various kinds of knots and what situations they are used for.   We also watched a video on how to make our own cordage with various plants and tree bark and use that to make a mat or rug for the floor or to sleep on.

The kids also used para-cordage and learned to make survival bracelets and handles for tools.  They learned how to store a lot of cord that can be used for survival purposes in a simple bracelet they can wear.

They made several useful items for all three older boys and mom and dad.  We plan to learn to braid a rug and weave a fabric mat, learn to harvest and use cordage made from plants and tree bark, as well as make more items with paracords in the near future.  I hope to get the kids an inexpensive paracord jig loom soon too.  Also the oldest son has requested a larger loom that he can practice making rugs and fabrics with.  He would also like to learn to make yarn from animal fur and learn to weave it into fabric too.

FORTS:

Learn How to Make a Model Fort with paper & hot glue and with sticks and hot glue.

Field trip to see a fort (scheduled for June).  We plan to take a trip to see a real fort from the 1700’s.  We stopped in to see one in May during this study but they were closed so we didn’t get any pictures.  We have visited three different forts in South Carolina a few years ago.  Then about six months ago, we also visited a 1700’s fort in North Carolina along the coast that dates to the Revolutionary War with the British and an 1800’s fort from the Civil War.   These field trips are something our family enjoys doing together.

My 12 year old son went out and found a branch he felt would make a good fort.  After looking at forts on the computer, he designed a blue print on paper with his measurements and a ruler.  Then he went outside and got busy cutting his wood to the exact lengths he wanted to build a fort to scale.

Next he hot glued the pieces together and as of this time of writing this review he has only finished one wall so far.

I will post a story about his fort and several other things all of the kids learn to make using inspiration from this unit study in future stories.

Rifle Skills:

The older three boys learned about using a muzzle loader, and all the kids had the opportunity to practice shooting with a BB gun.

Daniel Boone used a Flint Rock muzzle loader rifle.  We researched these rifles online.  We didn’t have access to this style of rifle, but we did have access to a center fire muzzle loader rifle and the kids got to learn how to use it.

Dad was given this rifle as a gift many years ago before we had kids.  He used to hunt deer with this gun.  It hadn’t been used in many years because he had left it with a relative when we moved years ago, and they recently gave it back to him.  So this was the kid’s first experience learning about a muzzle loader.

One big difference in this gun and the one Daniel Boone used is that instead of firing with flint, this muzzle loader uses a cap.

Dad taught the kids how to add black powder, load the musket ball, tamp it down, put in the cap, aim, and shoot at a target.

They wore ear plugs and were surprised how loud this gun was.  It also leaves behind a small cloud of smoke after it fires just like the guns in the old days did.  Dad said you only get one chance to get a deer with this gun because if you miss, the sound alone will scare them far away.

The muzzle loader rifle literally sounds like a cannon going off.  It is hard for me to grasp how Daniel Boone and men of the past lived with a muzzle loader gun as their means for hunting and self defense and fought with it in wars.  Muzzle loaders in my opinion take so much extra effort to lug around (the powder, the ammo, tampers, and the heavy gun), in addition to the extra steps to load the powder and ammo, and the loud incredible “BOOM!” it creates.  However, my husband and sons think it is great!

Daniel Boone and his family lived such an interesting life!  They exemplify the life and challenges many of the early settlers faced.  It took sheer courage for the pioneers and explorers to survive the dangers of the wilderness, war, setting up homesteads, growing crops, and the numerous almost daily altercations with wild animals and people during this time in history.

This is a fun book and unit study.  It is interesting to read and a testimony of human strength and courage.   I would encourage homeschool families to pick up a copy and enjoy this learning journey!

Social Media

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Homeschool Review Crew

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The Typing Coach Review

Need help with Typing? Then you might want to give The Typing Coach a try.

The goal of The Typing Coach is to help you become “independent” instead of relying on “watching” the keys (and constantly correcting mistakes) while you learn to type 10 to 45 words per minute with no typing errors. This course uses a combination of written, audio, and videos lessons, and timed typing tests to help you reach this goal. With continued practice using The Typing Coach methods, you learn how to train your brain and fingers to master typing challenges and attain even more words per minute.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course offers a touch typing program with two levels to meet your needs.

Regular Course (for students 12 to Adult)

Slower Course (for students 8 – 11)

Benefits of Using The Typing Coach:

Easy to use.
24/7 Online Access.
Self Paced (go at a pace that works for you).
Created by an Experienced Typing Teacher.
Successes are Progressive and Systematic.
Develop Good Typing Habits.
Become independent from observing keyboard or monitor.
Improve Speed With Fewer Errors.
Online Testing Center.
Teacher Resource Center with printables, videos, and support.
Yearly Subscription

Check out this short video about The Typing Coach:

Lessons

Lessons in this course are offered at two levels.  The regular lessons move at a faster reading and typing pace for students 12 and older.  This course is difficult to do for those under 12 years old and will require more teacher time, more practice time so a less rigorous schedule is offered for those under the age of 12.   You can decide if you want your student to take the regular lessons or the slower paced lessons.

Lessons Include:

Having Good Posture
Home Row
Top Row
Bottom Row
Shift Keys
Evaluating Your Skills
Typing Practices
Number Row
Serious Practicing
Final Assessment
Conclusion

Each lesson varies from a few days to 1 week to master the skills.  It is recommended to do a lesson a week and spend time practicing your skills you have learned.  At a pace of 1 lesson per week, you can accomplish this course in a span of 10 weeks.

Each lesson has a written and an audio component and lots of practice.   Each lesson builds upon the skills of the previous one.  You can choose to either have the program keep track of your quiz / test scores and email them to you or you can keep track of them yourself.

The course is set up for you to practice the skills learned in the lessons for approximately 20 minutes a day/week and master the larger goal in small segments.  The first goal is 10 words without mistakes, then 25 words, then with more practice 45 words per minute without mistakes can be attained. The eventual goal is to type 45 words per minute with 1 or 0 mistakes.

How we used this course:

The course is online and it requires a computer with a keyboard, internet, and audio video capabilities and a printer for the PDF files.  My oldest son and I both used this course.  After reading through all of the materials, I didn’t think I had the time in my schedule to help the younger children right now as they go at a slower pace.  But I hope the younger kids can take this course again in the future.

I wanted to take this class myself to test and improve my typing skills too.  I took a typing course in highschool (ages ago) and learned to type about 30 words per minute with one mistake.   When I was younger, I worked for a short time as a secretary through a temporary staffing agency and they were looking for people with 60 words per minute experience for the better paid positions, but required a minimum of 30 words a minute to be hired for some of the positions.  The Typing Coach says that most office positions require a minimum of 45 words per minute.  I am not looking for typing job, but I enjoy writing stories.  I would like for my family and myself to improve our typing skills.

We had a bit of a setback during this review due to a computer hard drive failure not long after we got started with the lessons. When it failed it also took out our operating system and files.  It took some time to purchase a new hard drive and install it, then search a store for a new operating system to purchase and install, install a new word processing program, and reinstall all our classes one at a time, etc.  My son lost most of his coursework he had saved to his computer and this event was somewhat discouraging to say the least.  But we are getting back on track and he is looking forward to working more on this course and improving his speed and accuracy as he learns how to type correctly from The Typing Coach.

After setting up the subscription, you can use the program 24/7 as it best fits your schedule.   When you log in and it brings you to your dashboard with an overview page of instructions and links to the lessons, videos, and tests.   Here is a picture of my dashboard with the general course overview. This page is the page you come to each time you log in.

The items on the list open up when you click on them.  In each item there are many more things linked such as videos, PDF’s, audio’s, and instructions. The first item on the list is the Course Introduction and the next item is the optional Slower Paced Lessons.  The next section is called The Practice and Testing Center (practice and test skills learned) this section is used almost daily.  The next section is the Before & After Snapshot (Pretest and Post test) section we used at the beginning and will use again at the end of the course. Then the next items listed are the actual lessons and they are numbered. The next item is help with practicing.  Finally there is a final test, conclusion and course evaluation.

The first thing we did to get started was read the Course Introduction and watched an introductory video (takes about 4 minutes).  Next, I printed out the PDF version of the course which takes about 24 sheets of paper altogether (Lessons 16 sheets of paper, Learning Checks 7 sheets of paper, and the Progress Chart  is 1 sheet of paper) and I put these printouts in a binder to keep them organized.

There are several audios and videos, but the two most important to mention here when getting started are the “How to Use the Practice and Testing Center” (takes about 3 minutes); and “The Typing Coach Method Explained” (takes about 30 minutes) and these videos demonstrate how to use the course.   In The Typing Coach Method Explained video the creator of the program models for the parent / teacher the course being taught to students in a class setting.

Next I viewed the Teacher Resource Center.  This section has a “Guidance for Teachers” instruction sheet, a list of all the printable PDF’s and all of the links to videos for the course.  It also has a section of resources for working with slower or younger students (8-11 year olds) that require more intervention and time from the parent/teacher.

The next step is the the “Before Snapshot” which is a pretest of your typing skills before you get started with the actual lessons.  It takes about 3 minutes to take the test.  You are to type the Gettysburg Address from the provided printout onto a word processing program on your computer without looking at the keys or your monitor while listening to the provided music.  When the music stops, the test time is finished.  This snapshot helps you see where you are at currently in your typing skills and where you need improvement.  When the course is completed, you take an “After Snapshot” and can compare how far you have grown in your typing skills.

After you have completed your snapshot quiz and found out your current number of errors in a 3 minute span of time, then it is time to begin the lessons.   The lessons teach the proper skills and typing techniques.  After listening to the new lesson, you go to the Practice and Testing section and complete the assignment.

Another section of the program is called the Learning Checks.  In this section you take speed typing tests from the printable packet without looking at your fingers.  When you have completed the challenges you (or your parent/teacher) fill out a learning check on your printed copy of the progress chart.

Each lesson has instruction, practice, and quizzes and a few of the lessons have the Learning Checks quizzes too.  The Typing Coach method helps you reach your goals of typing correctly without looking and without errors at a rapid pace.

When figuring out how much time you need to pace yourself for lessons, plan to spend at least 20-30 minutes or so per audio lesson plus practice time.  Also you are only aloud to take one quiz per two day time span.  A beginning student should work on this course at a pace of 1 lesson per week and add in daily practice time before taking their Practice Quiz and Learning Checks. However if you desire to go faster, remember you are still limited to completing a lesson no faster than every two days because of the restriction on the frequency of the quizzes.   Be sure to leave yourself plenty of practice time and go at a pace that feels good for you.

We would recommend this course to other homeschool families who desire to learn to speed type without looking and without errors.  If repetition, and being 99%+ accurate, or working under pressure for speed stresses you out, then this might not be the best fit for you.   I would recommend planning to go a little slower than you might expect, because the program won’t let you progress to the next level if you have errors.  So it is better to master your errors first and then master your speed. The goal is to be error free, which isn’t a common requirement in home education where the goals are usually not set at that strict of a standard and for that fact, this attribute of the program make take some getting used to.  The program is affordable and I would encourage folks to give The Typing Coach a try.

Social Media

Be sure to check out The Typing Coach social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

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Thin Stix 6pk Of Classic Colors Review

We are reviewing the cutest set of easy to hold, mess free, affordable tempera paint sticks.  With six kids in our house, I am always cleaning looking for ways my kids can do MESS FREE arts and crafts.

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors tempera paint sticks from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors

There are many reasons you will want a set (or if you are like me you will want multiple sets) of these Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors in your home or office.

  • 6 Classic Colors
  • Easy To Use
  • Uncap, Twist & Paint
  • No Mess
  • No Fuss
  • No Water Needed
  • Solid Tempera Paint Sticks
  • Dries in 90 Seconds
  • Won’t Crack or Split
  • Paint like finish
  • Great on poster paper, cardboard, wood and canvas

Here is a video from The Pencil Grip, Inc demonstrating their tempera paints.  They have a regular sticks (Kwik Stix) and a thin sticks (Thin Stix) sizes and lots of additional colors are available too. Check their website for more information.

How we used Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors:

Art Classes:

We have a subscription to online art lessons through Creating A Masterpiece that teaches the kids to use various paints, pencils, pens, charcoal, etc in making masterpieces.  We have used various art supplies for their Art Classes, however these Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors gave us a whole new art experience.

They were easy to hold and dried quickly and we had no mess to clean up. They are great for painting large areas with a single color.

The only down side is that we didn’t know how to blend the colors or to get really fine detail with them. If there was a way to narrow the tip of the Thin Stix even more, then we could have sharpened up the details of our pictures.

But over all we like them and I am adding more sets of these wonderful Thin Stix tempera paints to their homeschool art supplies for their art lesson projects.

Father’s Day Bookmark:

Father’s Day is coming up soon and we decided we needed a cute project we could make for dad. We checked out the Better Handwriting At Home blog by The Pencil Grip, Inc for some craft ideas. One of the projects their blog featured was using a hammer coloring page  made into a Father’s Day card. My husband is a master carpenter and the kids agreed that a hammer is just the right gift for him! But instead of making a hammer into a card that is only used once, my son wanted to make a handy hammer bookmark for Dad’s bible that he could use everyday.

We searched on line for a free hammer coloring page and printed out copies for the kids to use.  We got our supplies together that included: Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors , a glue stick, file folders to make a strong back (a cereal box will also work), a pencil, and a pair of scissors. You can also use a laminator when you are done to help them last even longer.

Next step was to paint their pictures. It was so easy to use. It felt almost like panting with lipstick or a tube of chap-stick. But not greasy. Instead it was smooth and dry.

There is no smearing or smudging. The paint dries very quickly. We were not able to blend colors, but that was fine for this application. As the kids got used to using them, they learned how to press lighter or harder to create a different textured look.

The paint dried smooth before it was completely dry. That is nice. We tried to rub a little off with a paper towel where he had pressed to hard and got it too dark, but it is difficult to remove once the paint is on the paper. So my advice is to press lightly and add more later if you need too.

By the time he was finished painting his hammer, it was completely dry. There was no waiting necessary for him to move on to gluing the hammer onto the file folder. We have never had painted crafts progress so quickly! Next, he cut out the shape of the hammer through both layers of paper and folder.

The file folder backing gave the bookmark enough strength to stay straight when being handled. It won’t bend out of shape during repeated use.

On the back side of the bookmark, he decided not to paint it, but instead drew out the design of the hammer and wrote a scripture message to Dad. He got out his cursive workbook for reference to make sure he wrote his letters very neat.

He did a great job and I am certain Dad will enjoy it and get a lot of use with it.

Father’s Day Card:

My daughter wanted to make something a little more feminine and came up with a card that features a pair of praying hands and the bible verse “Our Father” that Jesus taught us to pray.  She used the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors to create “painted fingernails” on the praying hands so they resembled her own hands. For this project we found a free coloring page online with a scripture.

She chose this specific scripture because it talks about our Heavenly Father and how HE leads us and takes care of us EVERYDAY.

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6: 9-13

She chose to paint the finger nails, because she loves it when her Daddy paints her nails. She painted the nails green because her favorite color was not an option in this Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors set.

She said the green paint was the next best option.  She has asked me to order the additional colors of Thin Stix for her birthday so she can have “Pink” and “Purple” and “Light Blue” which are her favorite colors. Thankfully Thin Stix 6pk of Neon Colors will work perfect for her.

To make her Father’s Day card, she glued along one edge of two pieces of construction paper and pressed the edges together to create binding for her card. After painting the finger nails on her coloring page, she used scissors to cut out the hands and the scripture and glued them onto the front piece of her card. She put another message inside her card. I think her Daddy will really like her card and the special touch of the painted fingernails.

Garden Pots:

We plan to paint some cute bugs on flower pots next. We also saw this project on the Better Handwriting at Home blog. Our spring garden is really coming along nicely. Be sure to check out the stories on our garden and updates. We recently bought a stacking 3 pot planter system on our last grocery trip. I plan to plant it with herbs later this week. If the weather cooperates and time permits, then I plan to use the Thin Stix to paint some bugs and designs on those pots and then plant them.  I will try to post an update garden story about it next week.

DIY Art Kits:

We also have two birthdays coming up and both birthday kids have requested a set of Thin Stix paints for their birthdays. So inaddition to adding these to our art supplies at home for art classes, I have ordered additional sets for both kids (the Neon pack for my daughter and the Classic pack for my son) and made DIY Art Kits for them.

These Thin Stix tempera paints are “take anywhere” and “mess free” so they are perfect to take on the go in the car, or to a game, to sit outside and paint a scene from nature, or if they want they can even color in bed.

DIY Art Kits are portable, can be easily carried, and are light weight so the kids, or mom (I want to make a kit for me too) can sit anywhere and have the basic art supplies they need to create something beautiful.

For these kits, I used a re-purposed container. I saved a see through zippered plastic pouch from a bed sheet set. This container is the perfect holder for their kits, they can see everything in it at a glance, and they will fit nicely in a shoulder bag or backpack.

DIY Art Kits include:

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors tempera paints, Mixed Media Sketch Paint Pad, Charcoal Pencils, Graphite Pencils, Colored Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Eraser, Ruler, Gel Pens, and a small Watercolor Kit, various Paint Brushes (not pictured) and a sponge.

The paint brushes for the DIY Art Kit are back-ordered so I didn’t get a picture of them yet.   I am hopeful they will arrive in time for their birthdays. I wanted to keep these kits mess free and easy to use. Thin Stix are wonderful for keeping them mess free, but sometimes you want to use watercolors too. These brushes will help watercolor paints to be less messy because they hold water in the handle of the paint brush. For the watercolor brushes all you do is squeeze the brush then dab the brush onto the dry watercolor and use it.  Then to clean it just squeeze the brush again so water reaches the brush and wipe off on the sponge before you get your next color.

I think my kids will really enjoy using these homemade portable DIY Art Kits. I am thankful for the opportunity to try out the Thin Stix 6k Classic Colors tempera paints and we are excited to include them in our portable travel kits and our art supplies in our home.Stay tuned for pictures of other projects we make with our Thin Stix! They are a lot of fun, mess free, and so easy to use!

The Pencil Grip, Inc.

The Pencil Grip, Inc is a world renown company and leading manufacturer of ergonomic writing aids and therapeutic toys and educational products.

The Pencil Grip, Inc specializes in unique products that have many applications. These products help correct hand position, dexterity, and reduce stress on the hands and knuckles. They help control the grip of the writing instrument and improve performance. Their products are fun to use and help motivate hesitant learners too.

The Pencil Grip, Inc company was created by educational therapist Dr. Lois Provda in 1992 and their products have many decades of successful use in pediatric occupational therapy and classroom settings. Fast forward to today, the company has grown into an irreplaceable resource for hundreds of unique and innovative products for the home, school, and office. Millions of parents, teachers, and therapists worldwide have used these products and believe in the value and methods.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepencilgrip/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thepencilgrip
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KwikStixPaint/boards/
Blog: http://handwritingathome.blogspot.com/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew to say about using Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors with their kids.

Please share.