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If You Were Me and Lived In…Book Series Review

I have a lovely book series for kids by Carole P. Roman to share with you today.

Carole P. Roman is a well known author who has written over 35 children’s books.  She has won over 100 prestigious awards for her books.  She has written several historical series, cultural series, and fantasy adventure books for kids including:

  • If You Were Me and Lived in- Series with Cultural Focus
  • If You Were Me and Lived in- Series with Historical Focus
  • Nursery series
  • Oh Susannah- Early Reader
  • Captain No Beard Series
  • And More!

We are currently reviewing 4 books from Carole P. Roman’s investigative book series for kids called “If You Were Me and Lived In…” This series has two banches.  One branch is the Cultural focus series (3 to 8 year olds) and the other branch is a Historical focus series (8-12 year olds).

There are a lot of books in these series and she continues to add new ones. A few of the titles include:

If You Were Me and Lived in… (Cultural series)
Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mars, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Turkey

If You Were Me and Lived in… (Historical series)
Ancient China, Ancient Greece, the Ancient Mali Empire, The American West, Colonial America, Elizabethan England, The Mayan Empire, The Middle Ages, Renaissance Italy, Viking Europe

The four books our family received for this review are:

If You Were Me And Lived In The American West

If You Were Me And Lived In Australia

If You Were Me And Lived In Russia

If You Were Me And Lived In Israel

 

Here is a little more about each of these books and what we learned. 

If You Were Me And Lived In The American West

This book is softcover, fully illustrated, and contains 54 pages.  It is all about the journey on the Oregon Trail in the 1800’s and living life as a settler in the American West.

The book sets the stage pretending the reader is a 12 year old boy from Ohio in 1843.  The reader goes on a historical journey and learns what his life could have been like if he had lived during this time.  He heads out leaving Ohio on the Wagon Train with his family and others in the Great Migration of 1843 to find a better life in Oregon.

My kids really enjoyed reading this story.  They learned about the covered wagons called “conestoga” wagons. These were like primitive campers made from a large wagon with wooden wheels and an arched canvas top for shelter. These wagons held all of a family’s personal possessions, clothing, tools, herbal medicines, as well as a kitchen and pantry of food such as flour, salt, beans, potatoes, coffee, etc., and were pulled by oxen or horses.

The kids learned that life for kids on the trail was difficult.  They had to walk most of the way for several months, as they traveled about 10 to 20 miles a day, sleep on the ground wrapped in a blanket next to a camp fire, and help with chores without the aid of modern appliances.  Eventually your family arrives at their destination. Then they learn about setting up a homestead, including building a log cabin to live in and barn for animals, making yarn, chopping firewood, and planting gardens and fields, and more.

My kids also read about life for the settlers / pioneers and the Native Americans,  Sometimes these groups got along and other times they were at war with each other. Finally, there is a glossary of words and their definitions in the back of the book as well as a pictures and explanations of some of the famous people who lived during this time in history.

To Further The Learning:

To further what we learned about the American West, we built a campfire in the back yard as those on the Wagon Trail would have done to cook their food and keep warm at night.  Gathering fallen wood, splitting firewood and building a campfire is something we do quite often and the kids always enjoy it.

My kids are familiar with living on a homestead and the challenges and chores farming families have.  I grew up in Kansas and lived on a homestead for many years.  For many years in my youth and then as an adult with my own kids we have lived on a homestead and milked cows, made butter, grew gardens, butchered animals we raised and wild animals we hunted, fished in the rivers and lakes, built barns and fences, and more.   Also while growing up, we could see wagon wheel ruts left by travelers on the Oregon Trail that were still visible in many locations in Kansas.  They were also visible in places we lived in Indiana too.

On the day we wanted to cook some “American West” style foods, it rained the day before and the area we like to sit on large rocks got muddy from the rain.  So we made our food inside and took it outside at the picnic table to do our taste testing.

We tried some dried beef called beef jerkey.

We baked some cornbread.

Our Wagon Trail meal included dried beef, campfire beans topped with spring onion, cornbread, and a cup of coffee (our coffee was really coffee mixed with hot chocolate).

We tried out a second meal made of items that would have likely been on a wagon trail adventure.

This meal consisted of potatoes with meat, beans, biscuits with dried cherry preserves and coffee to drink.

The kids spent an entire afternoon recreating the story in the book.  They built a small model of the old west (wagon, horses, campfire with food and coffee, men with rifles, a river, and a gold mine, etc) on the Oregon Trail.  We looked for our Lincoln Logs to build with, but we could not locate them, so we opted to build a scene using Legos instead and it worked out nicely.

It took a while to build each scene because they built each one from scratch. My favorite thing they created was the wagon.

They built a small campfire and firewood and made coffee and cooked their food.

I thought they did a nice job with the details they came up with.

They even put a fish and a frog in the river.

And one of the travelers caught a fish for dinner too.

They included some details about gold miners too.

We also watched a few episodes of Mystery At The Museum program which features stories about artifacts from America’s past including the Old West. This was a good way to include Dad in on the learning fun because he really likes this show.  These stories are built around articles (boots, hat, gun, wagon wheel, trunk, etc) found in museums across America and explore the famous people and events that occurred in history.

This book was a lot of fun to read.  We plan to do more hands on explorations about the American West soon.

 

If You Were Me and Lived In Australia

This is a softcover 24 page illustrated book.  In this book my kids learned about living in Australia and learned some of the words that refer to their parents, food, games, holiday, and other details of life in their country.

My kids enjoyed reading about Australia.  They learned that kids in Australia eat a sandwhich made of “veggimate” spread on bread, and enjoy playing games of “cricket”.  They also learned their summer season on that side of the world is during our winter and vice versa.  The colorful pictures in the book show various places to visit, the national holiday, the market, swimming and snorkeling on the reef off the coast, and more.

There is also a pronunciation guide with definitions to some specific Australian words in the back of the book to help kids learn about life in Australia.

To Further the Learning:

To further the learning about Australia, the kids colored some pages we found online.  They also watched a nature documentary about animals from the Australian continent and learned about kangaroos, vipers, crocodiles, and more.   Another fun thing the kids did was they watched a movie called Crocodile Dundee.  It is a funny movie from many years ago, but some of the scenes, as well as the accent of the main actor Mitch Dundee, local foods, local words, etc. are specific to Australia and the kids had fun watching it.

 

If You Were Me And Lived In Russia

This is a soft cover fully illustrated 28 page book about life of kids who live in Russia.  In this book kids learn about what their life might be like too if they lived there.

They learn about words they might call their family members, and names of other kids, as well as popular foods, clothing, national New Year holiday, and famous places to visit.

A few of the other interesting things my kids learned about in this book was the kids in Russia enjoy playing out door ice hockey in the winter, enjoy playing chess, and a variation of tag called “fipe” and enjoy playing with Russian nesting dolls called “Matryoshka”.

To Further The Learning:

To enhance the learning with this introduction to what life is like in Russia, we watched a couple of history documentaries available on Youtube. One program we watched was about a family who lives in the countryside on a farm and lives mostly from what they can produce themselves from the land and river near by.  We learned that some farmers in Russia eat a lot of home grown potatoes and homemade bread. We watched another documentary about animals and people who have returned to the site where a nuclear power plant called Chernobyl leaked into the surrounding air, water, and soils and the effects the radiation has had on various living systems over the past several years.   We also watched an episode about how Russian Nesting Dolls are made.  We plan to make some Russian themed art projects later this fall.

We also made a chunky potato soup and ate it with crusty buttered bread.

A point made in the book, that is very different from our family’s beliefs, is the use of “fortune tellers” for predicting or ‘telling” kid’s future during their New Year holiday celebration.  This practice is contradictory to our faith as Christians.  This detail in the book opened up a discussion with our family about why the bible refers to this practice as sorcery and as Christian’s and followers of Yahuah Father God, we don’t participate in fortune telling and sorcery activities.

 

If You Were Me And Lived In Israel

This book is a softcover fully illustrated 32 page book.  In this book, kids learn learn about the country of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world.  They learn that people from four different ancient cultures who live in Israel share sections of the city of Jerusalem (Jew, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian) and the richness of their cultures (and history of ancient buildings and events recorded in history), attracts tourists from around the world.

In this book, kids learn about common names for other kids, and words for their parents, grandparents, local foods, going to the marketplace, money, and they learn about typical treats to eat at their grandparents house.  Kids also learn the favorite game to play in Israel is “football” which is called “soccer” in the USA.

This book also includes an introduction to the national Israeli holiday called Purim which celebrates Queen Esther when she saved her people from destruction by evil Haman.  This is one of our family’s favorite biblical stories.  If you are interested in reading about this special woman and the holiday that remembers her great courage in the face of despicable evil, check out the book of Esther in the bible.

There is a clarification I would like to make to this book regarding the Purim Holiday:

The book says that Esther saved her people from “an evil king”.  However, she saved her people from destruction by Haman.  Haman was the Prime Minister, Viser, or “first in command” under King Xerxes of Persia.

Esther was a Jew and was newly married to King Xerses.  Years earlier, her people, the Israelites, had become subjects to the Persian Empire after they disobeyed Father God and he allowed them to be conquered and come under the subjugation and rule of Persia.

Haman was evil and hated the Jews and plotted a scheme to have them completely destroyed.  He especially hated Esther’s uncle Mordecai whom the king cared about because Mordecai had helped save the King’s life and was a good man.  Haman devised a plan to kill Mordecai and all of his people and tricked the king into making it law, but the king did not know it involved Mordecai or Esther or their people.

When Esther learned of Haman’s evil plans to have all her people killed and how he had tricked the King Xerxes, Esther and all of the Jews fasted and prayed. She was afraid for her life, but recognized her unique position and access to the king.  After fasting and praying, and through a series of events Esther was able tell the King what Haman had planned for her and her people.  She was able to expose the trickery and evil deceit of Haman and his intention to have all of the Jews killed through the decree he had tricked the King into allowing into law.  However, after exposing the truth, the King was very angry with Haman and wrote a new law allowing Esther’s people, the Jews, to defend themselves and Haman was arrested and hanged in the gallows that he had intended to use to kill the Jews.  Every year, Purim is celebrated in remembrance of Yahuah (Father God) grace, protection, and provision, and Queen Esther’s courage.

In this book, kids also learn a little about the healing properties of the Dead Sea.  It is the lowest place on the earth that can be traveled to by car.  The water there is so salty, nothing can live in it, yet it brings healing to the body to soak in it and many people travel there to use it as a healing spa.

To Further The Learning:

To further the learning about what life is like in Israel, we watched a few videos, and ate chickpeas (garbonzo beans), learned about barley, vineyards, made unleavened bread with flour, oil, and water, and ate hummus (mashed garbonzo beans, sesame seed past, garlic, lemon juice, salt) with a side of carrots, we ate dates, and drank grape juice.

Israel has currently been in it’s annual grape harvest and we saw pictures of an Israeli vineyard and winery.  We also went to a Middle Eastern style restaurant and the older kids ate sandwiches made with spiced lamb and the younger kids ate spiced chicken on pita bread.

Our family has used a body scrub that contains salt from the Dead Sea, mixed with herbs and oils from Israel.  The salt of the Dead Sea is special and has amazing healing qualities.  I think it would be wonderful to take a trip to Israel and swim in the salty Dead Sea someday.  But did you know, the bible prophesy’s that the Dead Sea will someday hold fresh water and spring forth with fish and new life?  It may sound impossible but it is actually happening now.  There are many Israeli’s recording this event on video and posting the videos to Youtube.  There are places along the shore of the sea, that fresh water springs are beginning to flow and fish can be found living there. Amazing!

We spent some time studying the 10 commandments that are the foundation of the Jewish and Christian faiths.  We focused on the 7th Day Rest called the Sabbath.  Modern Israel celebrates the Sabbath from sundown Friday evening until sundown on Saturday and modern Christians celebrate the Sabbath from Sunday morning until Sunday evening.  But we found as we studied the instructions that neither system was inline with the ancient Israelites, the Jews that were then called Hebrews.

Exodus 31:14
“Keep the Sabbath holy. You have six days to do your work, but the Sabbath is mine, and it must remain a day of rest.”

The kids learned that according to the instructions the Hebrews were given by Father God, the true Sabbath is celebrated on the 7th day according to each moon cycle.  When a new sliver of the moon is seen, the count begins for the 7 days and the pattern repeats 7 days for a total of 4 Sabbaths in a month’s time.  Then it starts over with the sighting of the next new sliver of the moon and then count of 7 days repeat.  This Sabbath day is Holy unto Father God and he first gave these instructions to the Israelites and they are recorded in the bible.  Somehow this information has been lost and is no longer practiced, and instead the 7th day biblical calendar and lunar moon cycle has been substituted for pre-made civil calendars where the 7th day has become a fixed day of the week.

The kids also colored pictures that represent cultural aspects and foods eaten in Israel and foods eaten during the Sabbath.

The start of the New Year is another thing about the culture of Israel that we looked at. There are cute songs on Youtube that teach the kids about the New Year and the other holidays.  When we took a closer look in the scriptures, we saw the bible has the New Year beginning in the spring (March/April) with the sighting of the barely grain being ripe for harvest coinciding with the first sighting of the moon to kick off the New Year and the Harvest of First Fruits.  However, the civil calendar of modern Israel starts the New Year in the fall (September/October).  As we learn more about Israel, and the Hebrews and early Christians recorded in the bible, verses modern customs of Jews and modern Christians, we are learning about the difference in following man made systems and traditions verses following the instructions and calendar established by our creator Yahuah.

If You Were Me And Lived In Israel was the book I was most looking forward to receiving and reading with my kids for this review.  Partly because as Christians, the story of Father God, Yahuah, and his Son is the foundation of our Christian faith and is intimately intertwined with Israel and the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews, and the teachings of the early Christians who helped build the Christian faith.  I would love to travel and visit Israel and see the ancient locations, including Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, that we have read about.

When I explain where Israel is located to my kids, I tell them to think of the Mediteranian Sea as a market place neighborhood culdesac where a huge amount of world trade takes place.  Not all of the neighbors on the culdesac get along and it has been this way through most of history.  The sea is the road for all the ships to bring in their cargo and make stops at all the ports (neighborhood driveways) along the way.   The turn around at the end of the culdesac is where Israel sits, at the far eastern end of the watery highway called the Mediteranean Sea.  The ships enter on the west, then drive their ship toward the east and past all of the neighbors (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon on the north side of the road.  Moroco, Algeria, Egypt, etc on the south side of the road) before they reach the end of the culdesac at destination Israel where they can load or unload cargo and turn their ship around and visit other neighbors then head back out of the neighborhood and enter the Atlantic Ocean.

Final Thoughts

Each of these books are colorful and full of interesting facts about what life could be like for kids living in various countries and various times in history. These books are easy to read and fun to explore.   These books are fun to read at anytime, and would also be great to include for children doing a country, geography, or history focused unit study.

I plan to build some more unit study activities into our homeschool learning later this fall and read these books again with my kids.  We will also keep these books on their book shelf to read at anytime they are interested.  Over the years, I have learned that kids benefit from what they have learned in books even more when they can be “hands on” and take the learning adventure to a whole new level.  When I get our unit study put together, we will learn more about each country and the people and animals that live there, we will make a recipe, learn a song, play a game, practice speaking the language, read books and watch videos, and include specific related art projects for more wonderful hands on learning opportunities during this school year.

Overall, we enjoyed reading these books.  They were a great way to introduce different aspects of culture and history to young children.  I encourage other families to check into using these books in their homeschool learning adventures with their kids.

Social Media

Get all the latest news and product updates when you stay connected with social media links.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/caroleproman

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroleproman/

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5854108.Carole_P_Roman

Blog (more stories from Carole and also contains FREE Resources to further the learning with her books) : http://caroleproman.blogspot.com/

Youtube: Carole P. Roman

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using these books in with their families.

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Apologia: Marine Biology Review

We love visiting the ocean.  We have been blessed a few times to experience this amazing place that Father God has created.  There is nothing quite like standing on the edge of land and the edge of the vast ocean.  You can’t walk any further and the water lifts you up and down, and with the pounding waves, you can only swim for so long.  It doesn’t take long to realize your body was meant for land. It is like standing between two worlds. There is a very distinct boundary where these two worlds meet and life in one is completely different than life on the other. Yet the two are intimately intertwined by a great Intelligent Designer, our Creator, Father God.  WOW!

We were very excited to learn about a Marine Biology science course that we can use this school year that focuses on life in the oceans so we can understand this amazing water world. We are currently reviewing Exploring Creation With Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set and the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD by Apologia Educational Ministries.  This course is the perfect addition to our homeschool learning journey.

EXPLORING CREATION WITH MARINE BIOLOGY — ADVANTAGE SET

Textbook 2nd Edition

Hard Back Book

557 pages

Illustrated

16 Modules

Lessons, Questions, Answers,

Lab Experiments

Student Notebook

Spiral Bound Book

505 pages

Illustrated

Notes, Questions, Study Guide, Module Summary,

Lab Experiments.

Test Book

Soft Back Book

50 pages

Module Tests and Quarterly Tests

Solutions and Tests Manual

Soft Back Book

211 pages

Answers for Text Modules & Tests:

Study Guides, Summaries,

Module Tests, Quarterly Tests, and all Solutions.

Highschool Science

College Prep

Prerequisite: Biology

This is an award winning college prep science course for highschool students who have taken biology.  The Advantage Set includes a Textbook 2nd Edition, Solutions and Tests Manual, Tests Book, and a Student Notebook.

Additional supportive materials for this Marine Biology course are also available at the Apologia website, including an MP3 Audio CD of the text, an Instructional DVD that contains the entire course and demonstrations of the lab experiments, as well as Super Science Kit and Science Supplies like the Dissection Kit. If you prefer to buy just the Textbook or other items as a single item instead of as a “set”, they are also available for individual purchase too.

The Exploring Creation With Marine Biology Advantage Set is intended to be used for 34 weeks (that is 2 semesters, an entire school year of science!). It contains 16 Modules for approximately 230 +/- lessons, study guides, questions, vocabulary, and module summaries that dig deep into the ecology of the oceans on earth.  The Lesson Plan schedule is designed for 45 minutes per day for 5 days a week.  At this pace, students complete 1 Module, including the related lab experiments and tests, every two weeks.

  • Module 1: The Oceans Of Our Planet
  • Module 2: Life In The Sea
  • Module 3: The First Four Kingdoms
  • Module 4: Marine Invertabrates 1
  • Module 5: Marine Invertabrates 2
  • Module 6: Marine Vertabrates 1
  • Module 7: Marine Vertabrates 2
  • Module 8: Marine Ecology
  • Module 9: The Intertidal Zone
  • Module 10: Estuary Communities
  • Module 11: Coral Reefs
  • Module 12: Continental Shelf Communities
  • Module 13: The Epipelagic Zone
  • Module 14: The Deep Ocean
  • Module 15: Ocean Resources
  • Module 16: Effects Of Humans On The Sea

This course has a biblical world view of marine science.  Through out this course, students learn about the oceans and the relationship between ocean habitat and the animals and plants that live there and it points to Father God as the Creator of all life.  This course is filled with fascinating information about the oceans, creatures that live in the water including some bizarre creatures.  All of the creatures in this course have amazing abilities created by our amazing Father God to bring him glory.

Even though learning about Marine Biology and Ecology can be a challenging subject to learn, this course through Apologia is written in conversational style and contains many helpful resources to help students understand and master the materials.  There is an additional online learning aid called “Book Extras” available to help students master the course.  Information about the Book Extras Website and the access code is available in the textbook.

Sherri Seligson

Author Sherri Seligson, scientist and homeschool mom, has created a user-friendly course homeschoolers will love. She is the author of several science courses.  She is experienced and excited to share her knowledge about life in God’s oceans and helps students get excited about learning.   Check out this video with Sherri Seligson and her Marine Biology Course.

Our Experience

We received the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set that includes the Textbook, a Student Notebook, the Tests Book, and Solutions and Tests Manual written by Sherri Sheligson.  We also received the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD of the text read by Marissa Leinart for the purpose of this review.

This course is very well designed and is intended to last for an entire school year.  It contains tons of information in the 16 modules with nearly 230 +/- lessons, reviews, workbook assignments, labs, and tests, etc.  I was very pleased to learn this course will count for a full highschool science credit, and it also counts as an advanced college prep course at the same time.

Audio CD:

The textbook has been put on audio!  This is great news for audio learners! The text is recorded on an MP3 Audio CD for optional support for student.

We found this Audio CD to be a very helpful resource and helps keep the course moving at a good pace.

My son used the CD on our computer and listened to the text being read out loud while wearing his earbuds and reading along in his textbook. When we placed the CD into the computer, it showed up on the screen as a small phone-like looking graphic, and when we clicked on it, it had each module and lesson from the text listed as well as a time counter so you don’t loose your place.

The Audio CD can be “synced” with any compatible MP3 device, however we just used it on the computer.  He could stop it at anytime he needed and repeat something if he needed to hear it again. We really liked using the CD because my son was able to avoid getting bogged down with complicated words by reading right along with the text as it is being read out loud.

Textbook:

I like the textbook.  It is a huge heavy duty extra large hardback book. It has bright pictures and easy to read pages and uses various colors of ink to emphasize different things for the student to pay attention to.

The pages have a variety of information, vocabulary, pictures, graphs, things to think about further, scriptures, etc.  The pages are laid out in a way that is not overwhelming to the student.

Lab Experiments:

Each module contains several lab experiments.  There is a list of supplies needed with each experiment and a master list of all the supplies needed for the course in the appendix at the back of the Textbook.  You can buy supplies wherever it is convenient for you (online, local stores, etc), and some items you will likely already have around your house.

There are three categories of lab experiments in this science course:

Household Lab Experiments require items found around most homes.

Microscope Lab Experiments require prepared slides and a microscope. Check the website for resources.

Dissection Lab Experiments require marine animals, plants, etc. and related tools for dissection. Check the website for resources.

Lab Experiment Example:

One of the experiments my son did was learning about salinity and evaporation of ocean waters.

We had some sea salt crystals in the cupboard.

He ground the salt crystals into a fine powder.

Then he made salty sea water by mixing the ground sea salt into hot water that he heated on the stove and stirred it until it dissolved completely.

After the sea salt had completely dissolved in the hot water, he poured the salt water in to a glass bowl and let the water evaporate completely over the course of a few days.

He was left with dried out sea salt that coated the sides and base of the bowl and all of the water was gone.

There are so many great lab experiments in this course kids will have a blast learning about life in the ocean.  This course and the lab experiments are very interesting and so far my son is enjoying all of them.

Student Notebook:

I love the student notebook in this course! My son loves it too.  I plan to order two more notebooks for my other two older sons so they can all use this course together for highschool science credits.  They will be able to share the same Textbook, Solutions Mannual, and CD, they just each need their own Student Notebook and Test Book.

The student notebook provides an organized, complete lesson plan for the entire year.  Each day is listed with what my son needs to read and what activities to complete.  He can check off his progress as he works his way through the course.

The student notebook has plenty of space for notes at the front of each corresponding module so he can add as notes or ideas as he reads the textbook.

The student notebook also contains a full section at the back called a Lab Notebook for all of the lab experiments listed in the Textbook.

The Lab Experiments are the same information in the Textbook modules including materials lists, instructions, pictures, charts, etc. but it also includes questions and spaces to record their scientific observations and conclusions too.

At the very back of the Student Notebook, there is a section called Presenting Research.  Included are instructions and examples for making a professional presentation of your scientific research, including making posters, graphs, citing references and the supporting research, and a checklist.  This is very handy if your student plans to present their experiments at a science fair, county fair, coop, or other presentation.

Tests and Solutions Manual:

The softcover Solutions and Tests Manual and Student Tests Book contains tests, test solutions, and answers to the module study guides.

Videos:

Video about Apologia Advantage Science Set and Super Science Set

Video Experiment 13 Salinity, Temperature and Density

Module 6 Rays and Skates

FREE SAMPLES

Check out this page for free course samples.  To access the samples, after going to the page link below, click on “download” next to the “more info” and it will give several options for free downloads of text lessons and experiments, MP3, student notebook, and more:

FREE MARINE BIOLOGY SAMPLES

Faq: 3 pages

Table of Contents: 8 pages

Module 1 Text Sample : 40 pages

Student Notebook: 9 pages

MP3 Audio Sample

Final Thoughts

Overall, we are very pleased with this science course from Apologia.  They have done a great job creating this course and all the support materials to help students master Marine Biology.

We love visiting the ocean.  Now with the knowledge of Marine Biology, we will be able to understand more about the wonderful and amazing life and systems in the oceans.

We are so grateful for the wonderful products Apologia offers for homeschool families.  Their products have truly enriched our lives, encouraged our faith, and we love that through out the learning adventure, they point people back to Father God.  Both my son and I highly recommend the Marine Biology course!  Be blessed!

Social Media

Be sure to check out Apologia Educational Ministries on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.  They have a lot to offer!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/apologiaworld

Instagram: www.instagram.com/apologiaworld

Twitter: www.twitter.com/apologiaworld

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/apologiaworld/videos

Homeschool Review Crew

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

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Math Essentials: No Nonsense Algebra Review

Is your student ready to learn Algebra?  Then you might want to try No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials.

No-Nonsense Algebra

Softcover Book

275 Pages

95 Lessons

Online Access to Video Lessons

10 Chapter Reviews and Final Exam

Retails $28.95

The No-Nonsense Algebra book includes access to online instructional videos that can be used for teaching the lessons if desired.  This book is self contained as a textbook and workbook all in one and is designed to help your student master the concepts of Algebra.  The online videos are optional and require an access code that is found in the book.  It is not required for the student to use the online videos, but they are available if they need audio visual help from an instructor in completing the lesson.

The book contains 275 pages with 10 chapters, 95 lessons, 10 chapter review tests, a final exam, glossary, Solutions (answers key), and many help pages such as important formulas, symbols, fraction and decimal conversions, charts, etc at the back of the book.

10 Chapters:

  1. Necessary Tools For Algebra (22 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  2. Solving Equations (9 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  3. Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations (6 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  4. Solving and Graphing Inequalities (7 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  5. Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities (4 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  6. Polynomials (13 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  7. Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions) (10 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  8. Radical Expressions and Geometry (10 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  9. Quadratic Equations (6 Lessons + Chapter Test)
  10. Algebra Word Problems (8 Lessons + Chapter Test)

Final Exam

Glossary

Important Formulas

Important Symbols

Multiplication Table

Commonly Used Prime Numbers

Squares and Square Roots

Fraction and Decimal Equivalents

Solutions

Our Experience

My oldest son is ready to learn Algebra.

He has taken pre-Algebra, and uses an online math curriculum.  When we were offered the opportunity to review No-Nonsense Algebra, I thought this would be a perfect supplement to his main curriculum.

After looking through the program with my son for this review, including the HUGE book and online video lessons, I can see that this is a complete Algebra 1 program that can be used as the main curriculum or as a supplement.

My son can easily access video lessons from his dashboard.  Each video listed corresponds to a lesson in his student book.

I am personally most excited about the student book.  It is easy to use. It follows the same structure for each lesson.

  • Introduction to Lesson
  • Examples
  • Exercises
  • Review

In addition to the reviews at the end of each lesson, there is also a larger Chapter Review at the end of each chapter.  So students are getting a lot of review to be sure they have mastered the concepts.

He has used an online math curriculum for a few years now.  However his other program does not come with a written workbook.  We have an option to print his pages but he usually just answers them online.   I like the fact that No-Nonsense Algebra combines both online video instruction options with text book lessons as well as written assignments.

Learning Algebra can be complicated for many students, but following a few simple steps can help make it go as smooth as possible.  It is recommended that each time he sits down to do a lesson, he gathers his student book, a pencil, ruler, graph paper, and a notebook.  Then he watches a lesson on the computer and reads the lesson in his book.  Next he writes the examples down in his notebook.  Then writes and solves the problems, and completes the text book problems and the review.  By following these steps each time, he is setting himself up for success with this course.

The huge student book contains written lessons with lots of examples, easy to read instructions, and fully explained step-by-step solutions.

Rick Fisher, Author

Rick Fisher has been a math teacher for over 31 years.  He is the founder of Math Essentials and Americas Math Teacher and he is the author of several award winning math books, DVD’s, tutorials, online courses, and more. 

Math Essentials offers several award winning math courses.  They have a progressive series called Mastering Essentials.  Students move from Mastering Math Skills in upper elementary school, to Mastering Math Skills in Middle and Highschool.  Then they progress to Mastering Essential Maths Skills in Pre-Algebra Concepts and then to No-Nonsense Algebra.

Rick Fisher has also developed award winning online math courses in Basic Math, Advanced Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra through his AmericasMathTeacher.com website.

Be sure to check out all of the great Math curriculum resources that Rick Fisher has created at Math Essentials and Americas Math Teacher.

FREE Resources

Rick Fisher offers a 14 Days Free Trial for his America’s Math Teacher online math courses.  Be sure to check it out if you are interested in seeing his teaching style, or if you are interested in an online math course.

Social Media

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/math.essentials/

Homeschool Review Crew

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

Please share.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff: Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Review

Want a fun way to learn Greek?  Then check out Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set by Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

We have been using the Student Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD from their Level 3 Greek language course.  I am really impressed with this curriculum.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

Student Worktext 

Soft Cover

Spiral Bound

Retail $21.95

  • Biblical Greek
  • Student Worktext
  • Alphabet and Vocabulary review
  • Greek Grammar
  • Masculine and Neuter Second Declension Nouns
  • Present Active Indicative Verbs
  • Movable nu
  • Read and Write Simple Greek Sentences
  • Matching, Dot-to-dot, Puzzles
  • Flashcard Pages (printed on normal workbook paper at the back of the workbook)
  • For Older Students (upper elementary – adult) and Students Who Have Completed Level 2

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

WorkText with Answer Key (Teacher Manual)

Spiral Bound

Soft Cover

Retail $21.92

  • Biblical Greek
  • Student Worktext with Answers
  • Teacher Tips
  • Translation Helps
  • Sample Lesson Plan Schedule
  • Big Picture You are Here – Grammatical Overview Charts
  • Some English Derivatives of the Greek Words Taught In This Level
  • References for Further Study
  • Recommended for those who have not had previous experience with the Greek language.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

Pronunciation CD

Level 3 and Level 4

Retail $10.00

  • Biblical Greek
  • Level 3 and Level 4
  • Pronunciation of New Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation of Paradigms
  • Indexed to the Workbook Level and Page (this is very handy)
  • The Alphabet Song

Our Experience With This Course:

I am excited about this course!  The Worktext teaches kids (and adults) Biblical Greek in a fun, familiar, and interactive way.

This course feels similar to an early learning English course.  In the beginning, my son learned the alphabet and practiced writing the letters, he practiced saying the letters and voicing the sounds each letter makes, just as he did when he learned English.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek Level 3 course is a beginning level Greek course for students 10 – Adult.  Each level is color coded and we are using Level 3 with the “green” color for beginners.  Level 3 is also a continuation level of Greek for younger students who first used Levels 1 (dark pink) and 2 (blue), and younger students who are reading and writing at least at an upper elementary age.

If students are younger than 10 they are encouraged to start with the first two levels that have less information per page and less writing. Kids younger than 2 grade should start with Level 1 and kids older than second grade but younger than upper elementary age should start with Level 2.

36 Lessons

There are 36 Lessons in this curriculum and it is intended to be used as a full school year (or 36 weeks) of study.  Each week begins a new lesson and each lesson has daily assignments for that week.  

There are both written and verbal practice assignments and to do the course well, students need a minimum of the Worktext, a Pronunciation CD, and Flashcards (either from the back of the Worktext or purchased seperately) to master the lessons.  The lessons included in this beginner’s language course are:

  1. Alphabet review – Part 1
  2. Alphabet review – Part 2
  3. Vocabulary review – Part 1
  4. Vocabulary review – Part 2
  5. Accusative case – singular and plural (second declension masculine)
  6. First person – singular and plural (present active tense)
  7. Genitive case – plural (second declension masculine)
  8. Genitive case – singular (second declension masculine)
  9. Vocabulary review – Part 3
  10. Vocabulary review – Part 4
  11. Third person – singular (present active tense)
  12. Nominative case – singular (second declension masculine)
  13. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 1
  14. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 2
  15. Third person – plural (present active tense)
  16. Nominative case – plural (second declension masculine)
  17. Moveable v, vocabulary and sentence practice
  18. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 3
  19. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 1
  20. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 2
  21. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 4
  22. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 5
  23. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 6
  24. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 7
  25. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 8
  26. Second person – plural (present active tense)
  27. Dative case – singular (second declension masculine)
  28. Dative case – plural (second declension masculine)
  29. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 9
  30. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 3
  31. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 4
  32. Nominative and accusative cases – singular and plural (second declension neuter)
  33. Second person – singular (present active tense)
  34. Vocative case – singular and plural (second declension masculine)
  35. Final review – Part 1
  36. Final review – Part 2

Appendix

Additional “Help” pages are available in the back of the book.  There are several Appendix pages including:

  • Glossaries
  • Greek Alphabet
  • Vowels and Diphthongs
  • Punctuation
  • Breathing Marks
  • Word Order
  • Voices of the Greek Verb
  • Moods of the Greek Verb
  • Present Tense
  • Gender of the Greek Noun
  • Cases of the Greek Noun
  • Second Declension
  • Bible Copy Work
  • Index
  • Feedback Form
  • Flashcards (printed on paper in book to be cut out if desired, or buy additional flashcards printed on heavy cardstock with metal ring available on the website.)

We have enjoyed using this course so far.  After a few weeks of using this with my 12 year old son, I could not believe how easily he learned Greek using this method.  He worked on a lesson a week and completed various workbook pages each day.

Getting started with Greek.

We took a mini-break from school for a couple of weeks this summer, and he got right back to it when we got home and has already made it to Lesson 4!  He is motivated to learn and really likes using this.  He has never had Greek before, this was his first exposure to the language and I am very pleased with how well this curriculum is working for him.

Practice writing and pronouncing Greek letters.

At this level, learning is familiar, even though it is a different language. Similarly to learning English, with this Greek Worktext, as he learned the names of letters, how to write them and pronounce them, then he began learning how to put the sounds together to pronounce words and eventually learn to use those words in phrases.

When you look closely at some of the pictures, you might notice my son’s Popsicle stick bookmark he was using.  He wanted a quick way to find all the letters in the Greek Alphabet on one page, and the Glossary of word definitions.  He marked these quick references found at the back of the worktext in the Appendix with a Popsicle stick.  The resources at the back help a lot in seeing the big picture and understanding.

The Teacher’s Worktext with Answer Key has helped me understand what my son is learning.   This book has everything in it that the main worktext has with the addition of the answers and several teaching helps.  So even though I have not had Greek language training, with the help of the book I can help my kids learn the material in their worktext and we can discuss it.

The CD is an invaluable resource for learning how to prounounce the letter sounds and words correctly.  The repetition of practice with the flashcards and the Worktext help reinforce what he is learning.

More!

I have been so impressed with using the Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD  that we were sent for review. I am especially impressed how well my 12 year old son has progressed through it, that I decided to purchase two more copies of the student Worktext, three sets of Flashcards, three sets of the Quiz and Text Booklets, and a set of the Greek Alphabet Bookmarks (no more Popsicle sticks!).

Our additional books arrived last week!  Now the 12, 14, and 17 year old boys are all learning Greek.  Thank you Greek ‘n’ Stuff for creating these resources!   Though the two older boys are just getting started with theirs and are a few weeks behind their younger brother, I have no doubt they will be able to catch up with him and they can learn with this method together and this will be even more beneficial for all them as they journey this course together.

All of the resources are great!  I would encourage everybody to get the flashcards and bookmarks too.  They are not expensive and they are an invaluable resource.

The bookmarks have the complete Greek alphabet.  This resource includes the capital letter, small letter, Greek name of the letter, short vowels, long vowels, and dipthongs.  The bookmarks are inexpensive and come in a set of 5.  Since I only needed three for the boys, that left one for my husband and me.  I love it!  I am using it to mark where I am reading in my bible.  It is a really handy resource to have.

These Flashcards are wonderful too.  They contain 78 cards already to use, so I don’t have to cut them out of the back of the student Worktext.  They are sturdy and made with a heavy duty paper so they will hold up to repeated use.  They are printed double sided, so the word my son is learning is on one side and the meaning is on the reverse.  Also on the reverse side is the Greek Level and Lesson Page # so he can go back and review the lesson again when needed.  The cards are also hole punched to keep them organized on the provided metal ring.

I am considering getting the Level 1 and Level 2 for my younger three children so they can work through the beginning level for younger students together too.   The younger level has coloring pages and fun activities and is much easier for young kids just starting out.

Additional Level 3  Supportive Products Available:

Though you can master this course with the Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD, I personally think it would be worth your time to check out the additional supportive materials and bundled sets Greek ‘n’ Stuff has to offer. I would especially encourage families to at least add in the sturdy Flashcards and Bookmarks.

Each level is numbered and color coded, so be sure to buy the supportive materials that match the level you are using.  We are using the Level 3 (green) so when purchasing supportive products, I made sure each one matched with the correct number and color.

A few of the additional Level 3 items available for this course include:

Flashcards. (78 Cards + Metal Ring)$8.00

Bookmarks (Set of 5) – $6.00

Sheet Music for the Greek Alphabet Song – $2.95

Quizzes and Exams – $5.50

Answers only key – $6.00

Bible Copybook – The Gospel of John – $25.95

FREE STUFF

Be sure to check out the FREE Greek Sample Pages Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers on their website.  They offer free samples of Greek, as well as Latin, and Bible curriculum.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff

Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers 8 levels of Greek language training.  The first three levels are for beginners.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff also offer student worktexts in Bible Studies, Songs, Readers, and Copywork in the Greek language too.   But that is not all, they also have language learning products in Latin and French, and have several Bible Studies too.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Greek ‘n’ Stuff on their social media for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreeknStuff/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/heyandrewteachmesomegreek/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreeknStuff
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kuriakos/greek-n-stuff/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenmohs/

Homeschool Review Crew

Members of the Homeschool Review Crew recently had to opportunity to review several of the great products Greek ‘n’ Stuff has to offer.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2 Set

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set

Alone with God Bible Studies

I Can Study Jonah & Ruth Alone With God Bible Study (13 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study Esther Alone With God Bible Study (13 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study I Samuel Alone With God Bible Study (39 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) KJV or NIV

Be sure to check out other reviews written by families on the Homeschool Review Crew about using these products with their kids.

Please share.

English On A Roll Review

Kids love playing games with numbered dice.  Why not give them dice with words for learning the English language?

For the past few weeks, I have been reviewing grammar skills with my kids using the English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll.

English on a Roll

English Grammar Teaching Method

150-page Instructor Manual

37 Lessons

40 Cubes

Ages 5 – Adult

Retail $79.00

 

What is included?

English On A Roll uses a researched based, highly successful, Multi-sensory Structured Language method (MSL) of instruction.  English On A Roll includes a 150 page instructor manual that contains 37 lessons, reproducible worksheets, and learning materials.

However, the lessons and worksheets are not the boring English Language instruction you would normally find in a curriculum.  Instead, this instruction manual is filled with game-like activities that involve various senses.  Kids will have fun using their visual, auditory, verbal skills, and their hands to create grammatically correct sentences.  The instruction manual contains reproducible worksheets, conversation ideas, and teaching tips that both kids and adults enjoy. No prior teaching experience is required.  It comes with everything you need and is easy to implement.

English On A Roll also includes 40 word cubes (dice) in a plastic case.  Each heavy duty plastic cube is six sided and has 6 corresponding words kids will use to make sentences.  There are 38 color coded word cubes engraved with groups of related words, and there are also 2 blank cubes for customizing.

The word cubes are color-coded to facilitate learning the different parts of speech by color association.

  • Pronoun Words = Blue
  • Question Words = Green
  • Noun Words = Dark Blue
  • Preposition Words =  Dark Blue
  • Article Words  = Dark Blue
  • Adjective Words = Purple
  • Verb Words = Red
  • Adverb Words = Orange
  • Punctuation Symbols = Black
  • Conjunction Words = Black

The 40 piece set of word cubes come in a durable plastic case so you won’t loose them and they are easy to transport and store.  They are just the right size to be portable, and the case is small enough to fit into a backpack or purse.  The set includes two blank cubes that are easy to customize with additional vocabulary words of your choice.  From their website, you can buy as many additional smaller sets of blank cubes as you need.

My kids are really enjoying the lessons.


Lesson 5 Questions (verses Statements) With “Be”.  Singular: “It is a car.” or “Is it a car?” Or Plural: “They are cars.” or “Are they cars?”

The lessons are fun and have a “game” like quality to them.  In addition to “playing” as you learn the grammar lessons, students can get creative and develop their own lessons too. English on a Roll is fun, which keeps students practicing.

Repeated practice is recognized as the most significant factor in mastery of language.

Students can learn to master grammar of the English language with English On A Roll’s multi-sensory hands on program.  It teaches both grammar and syntax and students will have a strong understanding of the structure of the English language when they complete the program.  One set of cubes can be used for up to six students at a time; and larger groups (or classrooms) will need to purchase the larger kit that contains the instruction manual and 5 complete sets of the cubes.

English on a Roll uses fun 6 sided word cubes to get the message across.  By rolling the cubes (spinning the cube around with their fingers), and coordinating the color code, students can build unlimited phrases and sentences and learn the basics of the English language.  Kids feel like they are playing a game and they want to practice because it feels seems to them they are playing a game.  It is easy to see how students have fun while learning with this program.

English On A Roll is a great addition to Homeschools.  It is easy to use, portable, and would make a handy resource for parents in many different scenarios.  A few ideas where a homeschool family might use this program in addition to home is:  in the car, at Homeschool coops, and volunteers in various settings, and at nursing home visits.  Parents could take this program along for kids to work on quietly in the lobby while the parent are in a meeting or appointment.  Here are a few more ideas of various situations where these cubes would be a great resource:

  • Homeschools
  • Literacy
  • Beginning Reading (K-4)
  • Daycares
  • Preschools
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Special Education
  • Adult Education
  • Nursing Home Visits (help with social interaction, memory, eye hand coordination or language recovery).
  • Test Preparation Programs
  • After School Programs
  • Summer School Programs
  • Libraries
  • Community Centers
  • Churches
  • Classrooms
  • Tutoring Programs

 

Check out this video link to see the creator of  English On A Roll using the program with students on their website.

FREE Sample

If you would like to try before you buy, check out the FREE Sample Chapters offer on the English On A Roll website.

Additional Resources

There are a couple of additional products available for even more hands on learning fun.  They offer additional sets of blank cubes for $8.50  Even though they include two blank cubes in the main set, you might need more blank cubes.

You can put whatever vocabulary words you want on these, however, I would like to get a couple sets of the blank blocks and make a set of alphabet blocks for my youngest child who is just beginning to learn letters and sounds.  The main set with vocabulary words was perfect for my 8 year old and the older children, but they were too hard for my 5 year old.

He preferred to sort them by color and count how many there were, and he loved to stack them and play with the blocks on the floor when the older kids were not using them for their lessons.

I plan to use the one and two letter word cubes for learning some short letter words as he begins to read, and I would like a more blank cubes that we can add more smaller sight words into his vocabulary.  I would also like to have more blank cubes to customize for the older kids and make a fun way to learn bible verses, rhyming words, and make a fun game on creating poetry, songs, story telling, etc.  I can think of many challenging ways we could use these.

English On A Roll also offers a board game for $20.  This board game looks like a lot of fun. It is designed to help kids build their vocabulary and social skills as they incorporate the use of the word cubes, as well as a game board, cards, and players. I hope to order the board game soon.

Our family enjoys learning various subjects with a hands-on approach.  It has been fun to use this multi-sensory method to practice language learning skills.  I recommend English On A Roll for families, because this program gives kids (and adults) the tools they need to learn English in a fun hands-on way.

Social Media

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

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPweHHfQ9OmKiu7Lo4Fv42Q

Homeschool Review Crew

Check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using English on a Roll.

Please share.

The Crafty Classroom: Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook Review

We have a fun and easy to use preschool curriculum to tell you about today from The Crafty Classroom.

The Crafty Classroom has lots of affordable printable curriculum options for kids of all ages.  We are currently reviewing their Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook.  This product has made teaching preschool super fun and easy in our home.

Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook

658 Pages

26 Letters with 24 Activity Pages Per Letter

Illustrated

PDF Download

For ages Preschool to K4

Retail $15

This downloadable curriculum includes everything you and your student need to hit the ground running.  The Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook is 658 printable pages on a PDF downloadable file.  It contains lots of illustrated full color (and black and white) downloadable materials that are great for teaching children the alphabet and teaching them verses from the bible while they grow in their faith in God.

The focus of this curriculum is to help kids learn their ABC’s and biblical truths at the same time.  By giving kids biblical truths in small pieces each day, it helps kids build a strong foundation and identity in Christ. Each week students learn a new letter, a character quality of Father God, and a corresponding bible verse as they grow in their knowledge of him and build their faith.

This curriculum is designed to keep the prep work to a minimum.

Good news!  All you need to complete this course is the printed out worksheets for the day (or the week), a bible, a pencil and crayons.  For a couple activities you will also need glue, scissors, and a ruler.  That is it!  This curriculum is designed to keep the prep work and organization for the teacher to a minimum.  You can store everything you need in 1 binder (large sized) and a zippered pencil case.  You can also add dividers into your binder for each letter if you want to.

It is suggested to teach this material 4 days a week during a 26 week course. Each day there are 4 to 5 worksheets for your student to complete. The suggested age range is Preschool to K4, but K5 and possibly first graders might benefit from going over this curriculum too. This curriculum would also be a great way to introduce ESL students to the English language too.

Included are lesson plans and a suggested schedule and 24 activities for every letter of the alphabet. You are encouraged to complete 1 letter per week for 26 weeks. The 24 pages of activities include: letter pages, Bible activities, games, worksheets, charts, coloring pages, math explorations, copy work, and more.

Charts

  • Character of God Chart
  • Bible Verse Chart
  • Bible Vocabulary Chart
  • Letter Chart
  • How to Write Chart

Coloring

  • Beginning Letter Bible Coloring Page
  • Bible Verse Coloring Page
  • Bible Themed Quilt Letter Square w/Cutting Activity
  • Blank Letters (x3 for coloring or art projects)

Worksheets

  • Tracing Worksheet
  • Handwriting Worksheet
  • Bible Verse Copywork Page
  • Find the Letter Worksheet
  • Beginning Letter Worksheet

Math

  • Daily Math Worksheet
  • Count & Graph Worksheet
  • Spin & Race to the Top Worksheet

Games

  • Full Color Memory Game (or Flashcards)
  • Bible Verse Maze and Activity Page
  • 4 in a Row Bingo Game Cards (4 different cards for each letter)

Take Home

  • Bible Verse Crown

 

Suggested Calendar & Schedule:

This curriculum is flexible and you can fit it into many scenarios for your student.  They suggest that you plan a work schedule of 4 days a week, working on 1 letter per week for 26 weeks.

The curriculum includes a handy reference Suggested Calendar & Sample Schedule.

HOW DID WE USE IT?

I can’t believe how quickly my youngest son is growing. It seems like yesterday he was still a little guy.  I am so thankful for this opportunity to review this curriculum because it fit perfectly for our family.  Life is busy with 6 kids in the house.  With this curriculum, all the prep work is done and we can just pull out what we need each day and do it.  He is progressing very well through this preschool curriculum and I think he will be ready for kindergarten curriculum this fall. He is so excited about his Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook.  We are currently working on the letter F and he asks to do his school work each and every day since we started! He loves learning!

I thought I would show you what a week with this curriculum looks like. Each week follows basically the same routine.  Below is what the first week learning the letter A and following the schedule laid out in the curriculum looked like in our home.

Monday:

  1. Character of God: Discuss the weekly theme, memory verse and vocabulary that are all related to an important character quality of God. Pray together and thank God for being our CREATOR!
  2. How to Write Chart: Use the chart to introduce the Letter A.  FINGER PRACTICE the proper formation of uppercase and lowercase version of
    the letter A.
  3. Beginning Letter Bible Coloring: Color the upper and lowercase letter A beginning letter picture and word to color. While my son colors, I can read the corresponding Bible story and discuss the weekly theme.
  4. Bible Handwriting Practice Page: This page reminds children
    of the proper letter formation and strokes. Beginning letter words
    are shown to provide ample practice opportunity.

Tuesday:

  1. Beginning Letter Chart: Shows children 10 different beginning letter words. Hang it on a wall or place on the front of your binder for a frequent reminder during the week.  You can also play games like tic-tac-toe, print two for a matching game, etc.
  2. Bible Memory Verse:  Read the verse for children to
    work on memorizing for the week.  Review the verse with your child throughout the week.
  3. Bible Verse Copywork:  Coloring page and beginning
    handwriting tracing page for the weekly verse.
  4. Race to the Top: This is a fun game played with a paperclip
    spinner. Children spin the paperclip and then trace the correct
    winner (uppercase or lowercase). The first letter to the crown
    wins! Follow up questions guide children through less and more
    and inequalities.
  5. Bible Maze: A simple follow up worksheet with mazes and
    small motor control art activities.

Wednesday:

  1. Blank Letter Pages:  Large letters that can be put into a plastic sleeve or laminated and the design can be filled in with pompoms, buttons, sticks, play dough, stamps, designs, stickers, or things that start with that letter.
  2. I Can Find the Letter: Find the letter A and count the upper and lowercase letters.
  3. Letter Trace: Trace the uppercase and lowercase
    letters. They can also make their own letters and color in a beginning letter picture for each row they complete.
  4. ABC Quilt Square: Color and cut out uppercase
    and lowercase letter A, then glue the letters onto the quilt square.
    Place the quilt square on a wall (or a string, or notebook, or place of your choosing) as they learn each new letter throughout the curriculum.
  5. Alphabet Memory Flashcards:  Cut out the flashcards and use them in multiple ways: pocket chart, play a game of concentration, play sorting games, ABC order, letter sounds, etc.

You can make several sets of these flash cards and use them in games such as matching or go fish.  My son really enjoys making and using the flash cards.

Thursday:

  1. Daily Math Worksheet:  Complete the daily math worksheet.  Skills practiced include: Counting, Measuring, Addition,Tally Marks, Patterns, Ordinal Numbers, Positional Words, Number Line, etc.
  2. Count & Graph Worksheets: Count the letters and pictures and then graph them.
  3. Write & Read Worksheets: Tracing page.  Fill in the missing beginning letter.
  4. Bible Crowns: Color your crown.  Decorate it and cut it out.
  5. 4 in a Row Bingo: Play “Letter A” BINGO.  The bingo games at the end of each week are a lot of fun and a great way to review his letter.

My Favorite Part!

I am thankful this curriculum is easy to print and go!  I am also thankful my son loves learning with it and we enjoy doing it together.  But my favorite part of this curriculum is the focus on the character of God and the verses that help my son learn about his Heavenly Father.

In just a few short weeks he has learned several letters in the alphabet while having lots of fun, learned a memory verse (though he doesn’t have them memorized), learned a vocabulary word, and learned a character quality of God:

Letter A: God is our Creator. (Genesis 1:1)

Letter B: God is Truthful. (Psalm 33:4)

Letter C: God is Love. (1 John 4:8)

Letter D: God is our Protector. (Psalm 46:1)

Letter E: God is Eternal. (Psalm 146:6 &10)

Letter F: God is Upright. (Psalm 25:8)

I also love that is it so flexible and easy to use.  You can use this curriculum as your main curriculum four days a week, or use it as a supplement to your main curriculum.  You can print out all of it, or print out just the portions you are interested in.  Being able to print only what you need is especially nice if you are working on remedial work with an older child who doesn’t necessarily need everything but does need practice in some areas.

My suggestion is to use this curriculum as your framework.  The lesson plans are already done for you and the curriculum covers all the basics your little ones need to build a good foundation in learning the alphabet and letter sounds as well as identifying beginning letters with associated pictures.  It also teaches kids basic understanding of who their heavenly father is, and how to go to his word, the bible, to read about him and build their understanding.  Then if time permits, and you want to expand on this curriculum, feel free to use additional props like play dough, sensory activities, sensory bins, related snacks, correlate reading books into the theme, songs, videos, or additional crafts that relate to your letter of the week.  I love it that this curriculum is so flexible, yet simple, and can be adapted to any family’s needs and schedule.

The Crafty Classroom

The Crafty Classroom has many wonderful and affordable resources for homeschool families.  Be sure to check out some of their great products and see if they will meet your family’s needs:

For Preschool:

Alphabet Curriculum Notebook (26-weeks)

Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook (26-weeks & Bible)

For Kindergarten:

Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook (36-week Curriculum)

R.E.A.D. Review Pack (28 Early Readers that Correspond with R.E.A.D. Notebook) Can be used as a stand-alone product, if you are not wanting a full curriculum.

For Older Kids:

USA Activity Bundle

How to Write a Paragraph

Social Media

Check out social media links for all of the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Crafty-Classroom-121821161222656/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CraftyClassroom
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/craftyclassroom/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecraftyclassroom/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using these products with their kids.

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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

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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/
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Homeschool Review Crew

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