Category Archives: TOS Crew Reviews

TOS The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew
Product Reviews
Curriculum Reviews
Homeschool Stories

The Typing Coach Review

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

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

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

Regular Course (for students 12 to Adult)

Slower Course (for students 8 – 11)

Benefits of Using The Typing Coach:

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

Check out this short video about The Typing Coach:

Lessons

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

Lessons Include:

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

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

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

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

How we used this course:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thetypingcoach

Homeschool Review Crew

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

Please share.

Thin Stix 6pk Of Classic Colors Review

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

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

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors

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

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

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

How we used Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors:

Art Classes:

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

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

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

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

Father’s Day Bookmark:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father’s Day Card:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garden Pots:

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

DIY Art Kits:

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

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

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

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

DIY Art Kits include:

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

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

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

The Pencil Grip, Inc.

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

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

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

Social Media

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

Homeschool Review Crew

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

Please share.

Drive Thru History Review

I have a terrific DVD set of exciting, riveting, hold on to your seat adventures to tell you about!

Drive Thru History® has a new captivating series called Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” that my family has enjoyed reviewing, and I am certain you will learn more about real events that took place when you see history come to life this way. 

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”

3 DVD’s

18 Episodes

1 Study Guide

Who is the most significant person who ever lived?  Why is he or she significant?  People around the world agree that Jesus is the most significant. This series takes you on a historical and geographical journey of the life of Jesus.  It points to Jesus as the most significant person who ever lived because he changed the world in ways no one else has ever done.

18 Episodes on 3 DVD’s:

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” contains 18 episodes on 3 DVD’s.  Each episode is about 1/2 hour in length and can be watched on any DVD player device.   These videos cover history, archaeology, geography, and art surrounding the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  The list of episodes includes:

Episode 1: The Historical Landscape
Episode 2: The Announcements
Episode 3: Jesus is Born
Episode 4: Jesus Grows Up
Episode 5: Jesus Starts His Ministry
Episode 6: Jesus Returns to Galilee
Episode 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles
Episode 8: Jesus Teaches with Authority
Episode 9: The Sermon on the Mount
Episode 10: Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
Episode 11: Jesus Travels North
Episode 12: A Final Trip to Jerusalem
Episode 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
Episode 14: The Last Supper
Episode 15: The Trial of Jesus
Episode 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus
Episode 17: The Resurrection of Jesus
Episode 18: Who is Jesus?

Dave Stotts takes you on a journey like you have never experienced before.   He is a most interesting and funny tour guide.  Grab your snack, I mean “backpack”, put these DVD’s into your DVD player, imagine you are joining him and hop into his jeep and go exploring!   He makes you feel like you are right there with him and he is talking to you!  

Hang on for the ride!  These episodes go by fast and are jam packed with fascinating information.  Dave takes you with him to 50 locations in ancient Israel to explore the truth about the life of Jesus and see history come to life first hand.

Through out these videos, Dave helps you and your family explore specific locations recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The bible comes to life right before your eyes.  People of all ages will become excited to dig into their personal bible study because they can “SEE AND HEAR” the truth and it will resonate with them.  No one can deny the truth in the scriptures when they experience it first hand and see for themselves what was written down about Jesus two thousand years ago.  These videos are a fresh way to open the eyes and ears of people to see the truth in the scriptures.

Study Guide

After watching each episode, we spend a few minutes going over the short summary and questions for that specific video in the 118 page study guide. The guide has full color photography, a summary of the video, and 5 questions for each video.   This step is not required but will help your understanding and deepen the learning experience.

Who Needs This?

  • Homeschool Families
  • All Families
  • Grandparents
  • Movie Night
  • Church
  • Clubs
  • Schools
  • Nursing Facilities
  • Do you need a gift for any occasion?  Would you like to see ancient Israel with fresh eyes?
  • Would you like to teach your kids, friends, neighbors, and even strangers about Jesus in a real way that connects their life to his when he walked the earth and the message he taught those with eyes and ears to listen and see the truth?
  • Would you like to have a natural witnessing tool about who Jesus is that doesn’t feel like you are hitting folks in the head with a bible?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then YOU NEED THIS!

Ready To Ride?  Then Drive Thru History® is ready to take you there!

We have enjoyed the videos from Drive Thru History® so much.  Dave has a great sense of humor when he is out roaming around the world and it helps you relate to him as a regular normal guy.  He gets your attention.  These videos have helped deepen our understanding of who Jesus is and the life he lived on this earth.

Hopefully when you take “this ride” into history, you will see the truth in the bible.  The only way to heaven and eternal life with God our Father is thru JESUS!  He is the door.  We must believe in him and accept him as our savior and Lord of our life.  Nothing else in this life matters more than that step of faith.

Drive Thru History® is an exciting way to deepen your experience studying the bible and points you toward Jesus.  It is a visual and audio method on the “big screen” that is the dominant way most people experience learning in our modern world.  In the past we have also visited Bible museums that “recreate” locations to give you a hands on experience and this has encouraged our faith too.  But to see and hear Dave Stotts share the bible on the real locations in Israel, and tie specific scriptures and events and places together is an invaluable piece in deepening our understanding of who Jesus was and is and is to come…the king of all kings…and the Lord of all Lords…

One day soon every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus the only begotten son of God is the savior of mankind and Lord of all.

Social Media:

Check out Drive Thru History® social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/drivethruhistory/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/drivethruhistory
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/drivethruhistory/

Homeschool Review Crew

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

Please share.

Readers in Residence Volume 1 Review

A fun way for kids to learn to become excellent readers is for them to become an expert reading detective and see the material presented with a biblical worldview. The Readers in Residence Series has 4 great courses to get kids excited learning how to be a reading detective.  We were recently sent the first volume in the series Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) by Apologia Educational Ministries .

Readers In Residence Volume 1 (Slueth)

2 Book Set

Student Worktext

Answer Key

4th Grade and UP

Retail $89

This is Volume 1 in a 4 volume series of Readers in Residence courses by Debra Bell and Published by Apologia.  Be sure to check the website for the latest updates in this series.  The four volumes in this series include: Vol 1~ Slueth, Vol 2~ Detective, Vol 3~ Investigator, and Vol 4~ Analyst.  Readers in Residence assumes every reader is a detective.  It focuses on reading comprehension and vocabulary using various literature genres to help students become excellent readers who understand the big picture about the story, the intentions of the author, and real life applications of the story’s message.  Each volume can be used as a stand alone course.

This course is intended to be done by one student, or used in a group setting (such as a book club) with each student having their own worktext. In this course, kids read 6 chapter reader books while using their worktext to answer specific questions to reach their goal of becoming a reading detective.

The course is divided into 6 Units and contains 14 Modules.  It is intended to be worked on 4 days a week and completed in 32 weeks.  However, the course is flexible and you can go as fast or as slow as you want.

Goals of this course include:

  1. AUTHOR’S DESIGN: understand the author’s craft, choices, and intentions
  2. ELEMENTS: recognize the literary elements authors use to create fiction and nonfiction
  3. INFERENCES: make inferences from the details in the text plus their own prior knowledge and experience
  4. NEW WORDS: decode the meaning of unfamiliar words from context clues build a rich and varied vocabulary
  5. FIGURES OF SPEECH: identify and understand figures of speech such as personification, metaphor, and hyperbole
  6. OBSERVATIONS: notice how expert writers employ the conventions of the English language (punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and usage) to achieve clarity

Kids learn about several kinds of literary genres and then settle in to research three specific fiction genres using six chapter books.  They will specifically research three kinds of fiction: Historical Fiction, Animal Fantasy, and Realistic Fiction.  Through out this process, kids will learn about characters, themes, comparison and contrast, plot development, figures of speech, story turning point, settings and set design, and more.

Chapter Book Readers

The suggested chapter books are available at your local library or can be purchased online.  You may already have these books on your book shelves. Three of the books are suggested for you, and three books are of your own choice.

  1. Sarah Plain and Tall (historical fiction)
  2. Your choice (historical fiction)
  3. Charlottes Webb (animal fantacy)
  4. Your choice (animal fantasy)
  5. Because of Windixie (realistic fiction)
  6.  Your choice (fiction of choice)

Student Worktext

This worktext is huge!  My son was excited to get such a big colorful workbook.  It has 562 pages and from cover to cover it is very well done.  It is a text and a workbook “all in one”.

It has large easy to read print on colorfully illustrated pages.  These bright colors and easy text kept my son interested in the material.  There are a lot of comparison type charts and other visual aids built into the lessons and it really makes learning the material easy to understand.

The worktext is spiral bound and the pages are thick and sturdy so it was easy for him to flip the pages and not worry about tearing them.  The book is soft cover so it isn’t has heavy as you might think a large book of this size would be.  It has a nice feel in your hands.  It is very well made.

He likes to take his schoolwork outside on the porch.  It was nice to know this sturdy book would hold up to him using it outside or inside where ever it best fit his needs.  Our other books are not near as sturdy.

I really like how the questions are layed out.  They have explanations and room to fill in the blank after you “hunt” as a detective for the answers.   He found the worktext very easy to follow and the questions were worded in a way he could find the answers in his chapter books quickly.

Answer Key

The Answer Key is a soft cover book of 232 pages.  This is a very easy to use resource for parents to check the progress students are making in their worktext.

The Answer Key contains the lessons questions written in black, and the answers to the questions written in green colored ink.  

In the back of the Answer Key book is a suggested daily schedule that matches the one in the student worktext.  There is also a Grading Rubix called a “Checklist Point System” for each Module.  Points for grades are earned based on the percentage of tasks completed in a Module instead of right and wrong answers.  A student can earn a top score of “6” for “exemplary in quality and effort” down to a “1” for “incomplete” for each task.

A Few Of My Favorite Things:

Some of my favorite things about this course are:

  1. Sowing Seeds: There are scriptures to study in the Sowing Seeds section at the end of each Module to help kids understand the material from a biblical world view.
  2. Independence: It is easy for the student to follow independently and easy for the parent to check on their progress.
  3. Graphs and Illustrations: The comparison graphs and visual aids and colorful pages that engage the student.
  4. Hands On Projects: There are also projects suggested throughout the course that give it almost a hands on Unit Study feel at times.
  5. Study Skills: The reading and comprehension skills learned in this course will be useful for all courses taken throughout all grades especially in highschool and college and it teach good study habits.

I would recommend this course to all homeschool families and homeschool book clubs and coops.  I found this course to be a very useful method of helping kids learn good study skills they will need throughout life.  Debra Bell has put together a great method and beneficial worktext for teaching kids to understand what they are reading.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Apologia’s social media links for all of the latest updates and news.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Instagram:  www.instagram.com/apologiaworld
Twitter: www.twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

Homeschool Review Crew

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

 

Please share.

Color My Conversation Review

Are your kids good verbal communicators of their ideas?  Do you and your spouse have strong communications skills?  Would you like to help your family improve the way you communicate with others? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then check out the Color My Conversation kit from Northern Speech Services.

I was excited to learn there is a fun and useful program available for families to use at home that can help improve communication skills.

Color My Conversation

Instruction Manual & Music CD’s
12 Stepping Stones
50 Game Tokens
100 Picture / Emotion Cards
50 Dry Erasable Wall Display Cards
2 Dry Erase Markers
Printable Worksheets & Activities
CMC BALL
Classroom Poster
Game Board
Cloth Ribbon

Online Training Videos & Support

PARENTS & PROPS

The parent is the “Conversation COACH” and an essential part of using this program.  You will use the manual, songs and props in your kit, and the online training videos to accomplish your role as coach.  Before you begin there are a few things for the Parent / Conversation Coach to familiarize yourself with.

Mannual CD

Online Training Videos

Props & Music CD

The first thing to do when you get your kit is to read through the MANUAL on the CD.  You can print the Manual and put it into a binder so you have it handy at all times.  

Next spend some time watching the online TRAINING VIDEOS.  There are several short videos on the website for each level of the program. These are an invaluable resource in demonstrating how the program works and help you to feel confident teaching and demonstrating each concept to your kids.

The next step is to familiarize yourself with items you will use with your kids. Look over the PROPS that came in the kit and the 12 SONGS on the music CD. These are sung with younger children and spoken with older children.

There is an Assessment Tool you can use to gage where your kids are at and where to begin if desired, or you can just start at the beginning.  This program is meant to be used in 30 minute segments and take as few as 14-16 weeks or it can be used as educational curriculum to last for an entire school year.   It is up to you and your family as to how fast you choose to progress.

LEVELS

There are 4 Levels.  There are also “Adaptations” and additional “Supplements” for each level for kids with varying skills and needs. You can move through the different levels as your kids progress in their skills.

  1. Beginner: Conversation Path (ages 5-12)
  2. Intermediate: Take It To the Table (ages 5-12)
  3. Advanced: Game Board Sessions (ages 8-12)
  4. Expert:  Customized Topics  (age varies)

ALL LEVELS: Disability Adaptations To the Lessons Are Provided!   Also some simple sign language gestures are taught.  With the adaptations, and using a few supplements such as colored beads offered on the website, children with wide ranging abilities and learning levels can participate in this program.

Beginner Level: Conversation Path (ages 5-12)

~ 5 Weeks
In the “Conversation Path”, involves movement and color.  You will use floor pads that are colorful “conversation stones” to guide the conversation.  Children will step on the stone path as they walk through the conversation. These pads can be written on with the included dry erasable markers.

At each stage (stone) of the conversation, the ball will be tossed back and forth to represent taking turns during the conversation.  This also helps to give pause and establish good eye contact and everyone knows to listen to the person holding the ball.

Using the Conversation Path, students learn about simple greetings, and farewells.  They practice body language and nonverbal communication skills too.  They are given opportunities to practice short conversations and longer conversations. 

The beginnings of a Wall Display will be used to represent the Conversation Path in the next less physically active levels.  The Wall Display should remain up as a visual support for the children.  There are also activities for using the Ribbon prop.

Intermediate LevelTake It To The Table (Ages 5-12 years)

~6-8 Weeks
“Take It To The Table” kids will learn to hold conversations at the table. They will continue to walk the Conversation Path learned in the previous level. A visual Wall Display will help children practice the new conversational features being introduced.


In Take It To The Table, kids will learn about “WH” questions, Yes! No! Maybe So! questions, they learn to make important meaningful comments, learn how to change topics, and how to speak clearly to be understood.

Table props are used including worksheets, crafts, artwork, drill work and game activities are provided for each lesson.  Kids will gain increased ability to have conversations on a wider array of topics!

Advanced Level: Game Board Sessions (8-12 years)

~3-5 Weeks
“Game Board Sessions” is a multi-activity conversation game.  Kids will have the role of either active play or observation and comment on those who are playing the game.

The Game Board Sessions focus on improving a child’s ability to initiate, maintain, and close topics.  They learn to use appropriate topic transitions. They also learn to take turns and use strategies taught on a 2-sided multi-activity game board.


While working through the strategies taught in this level, kids will continue to gain confidence as they practice taking on the role of the primary listener or the primary speaker.

Expert Level – Customized (variable ages)

~time to complete varies.
This lesson is intended for all ages.  The purpose of this level is to identify the conversation skills that each child has and is capable of using and helping them transfer them from practice into a natural setting.

This level helps kids practice conversations in the “real world.”
You can also hold specific customized conversations that have not been addressed.  This level helps with further skill development. Customized conversations can be taught at any point after the Beginner Level.

Our Thoughts:

I want my family to be able to communicate well.  We worked on the Beginner Level with my children for this review. I found the program to be very helpful in teaching them when it is their turn to talk (when they are holding the ball) and to be better listeners when it is someone else’s turn.  I am looking forward to advancing into the next levels in the weeks ahead and help the kids share their thoughts and ideas with effective strategies that work for kids from all walks of life and all skill levels.

Our kit arrived in a nice sturdy box that can be used for storing and it fits right on the shelf with our other family games and puzzles.  I was very pleased to see the variety and quality of the props included in this kit.  They have been well made and will last a long time if taken care of.

The process of using this kit is simple and straight forward.  It was easy to implement after I watched about 10 minutes of online introductory training videos.  There is also a 2-10 minute training video before starting each new lesson.  You can print the manual and lessons and keep them in a binder. Each lesson has a Parent Letter, a Lesson Overview, the Lesson, Teaching Overview, and Hands On Suggestions.

I liked the step by step instructions in the lessons for both myself and the kids to follow.  The kids learned how to start and end a conversation.  They learned how to ask simple questions and discussed easy topics such as their day, the weather, etc.  They had a lot of fun playing with the ball and being the one who has the right to speak without being interrupted. These activities provided a great hands on way for them to understand how a conversation works.

One of the best ways I can tell you about this program is to share a short video demonstration with you.  This one is my favorite because it shows how easy it is to engage the kids and follow the steps.  This 4 minute video is from Lesson 3: The Long Conversation.  It is really interesting to see how to start a coversation, move along the path of the conversation (stones), and close the coversation around a specific topic of interest.  They use the ball to symbolize who is responsible for carrying that portion of the conversation and it makes a person think “who has the ball?” “or “who has the floor?” before speaking.

FREE SAMPLE of Lesson 1 and the Lesson 1 Video.

On the website, Color My Conversations offers Lesson 1 for FREE!  It is a downloadable PDF. Read it right from your computer or print it out.  Give it a try with your kids.

Color My Conversation is flexible and can be used in a variety of settings as curriculum for any family in their homes, classrooms, tutors, clubs or community programs, or can be used by professional speech therapists. You don’t have to have specialized training to implement this program.

All of the lesson planning is done. Just follow the step by step progression of lessons to successfully reach new communication goals.  This program has everything you need to jump in and go.

NO matter what your level of training working with kids, this program will help you and your kids (and other adults), become better communicators of the goals and relationships you are working on. This program has a wide range of application and is recommended to be implemented by a Home School Parent,  All kinds of classroom Teachers, Special Education Teacher, Teacher for the Hearing Impaired, Teacher for the English Language Learner, Counselor, Behavioral Consultant, or Speech Language Pathologist.

Social Media

Check out Color My Conversation and Northern Speech Services on their social media links:

Facebook (company): www.facebook.com/northernspeech
Facebook (product): www.facebook.com/colormyconversation/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/northernspeech
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/northernspeech
YouTube: www.youtube.com/northernspeech
Instagram: www.instagram.com/northernspeechservices/

Homeschool Review Crew

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

Please share.

CompuScholar Java Programming Review

Computer skills are almost a necessity in the world we live in today.  Very few interactions in our modern world escape the influence of these devices.  If you want to help your kids get a good foundation learning how to use computers, then check out the products CompuScholar, Inc. has to offer. They have a wide variety of easy to learn computer curriculum for kids from 6-12 grades.

We recently had the opportunity to write a review for CompuScholar.  For this review, they gave us the option to choose from three of their outstanding courses:

Java Programming ,


 Digital Savvy ,

Web Design

My oldest son researched each one in-depth and we found out they are all terrific courses!  He was so excited and wanted to use all three classes.  He eventually chose the Java Programming course for this review.

The course is completely self study online.  We printed off the course syllabus so he would have a physical outline to see as a visual aid as well as using his dashboard on the computer.  The course syllabus is laid out very nice and has the week listed, the reading and objectives of each lesson, and the corresponding labs and helped us get a good overview of the course.

The Java Programming course is easy to follow step by step and understand the goals and what you are working on.  Each lesson has a video as well as written text.  As you work through each chapter lesson and project progressively building upon each concept.  If you make a mistake you can retrace your steps and figure out where you messed up.  Then complete one section at a time, and then a quiz, before moving forward into the next lesson.

Summary From James age 16:

“I like using the Java Teen Coder Course. It has been great for me. I have learned many new things.  I learned the E.N.I.A.C. was the first reprogrammable computer.

I like the fact that there is a video and text to each lesson.  Both the video and the text are very easy to follow and understand. The layout of the lessons is very easy to navigate and find what you are looking for.

I like the lab projects I have worked on so far.  It is cool to see my work on the screen.  I have enjoyed using this program very much.”

Java Programming

Online Course Self Study Course

Retail $15 / month or $120 / year subscription.  If you choose the 1 year subscription, you can add additional children in for $40.

27 Chapters & Quizzes & AP Exam

Projects & 20+ Hours Hands On Programming Lab

Free, Comprehensive Technical Support

Self-Study at your own pace

Step-by-step lessons

Integrated instructional videos

Lesson quizzes, chapter tests

Programming and computing projects with easy-to-follow solutions

Projects & Lessons

The program is flexible and you can complete lessons and projects at your own pace.  There are 27 Chapters that contain about 97+ lessons. Some chapters have only 3 lessons and some chapters have 6+ lessons.  Some chapters have only 1 Lab project and some chapters have multiple Lab projects to complete.   The lessons can be accessed 24 hours a day 7 days a week with an internet connection from any HTML5-compliant web browser on standard computers, laptops, or tablets.

Though it is flexible, it is recommended to do 1 chapter per week plus the final review over the course of 30 weeks.  The way we planned our course is that we decided what time we had available and when we wanted my son to finish the class, and then figured out the number of chapters he needed to complete each week to finish the course at that desired time frame.  If you plan to finish in the recommended 30 weeks for example, you will need to do a chapter a week and at least a lesson every day or so to keep up the pace of completing this course within this time frame.   If you planned to go faster and do the course in about 3 months, you would need to do about three chapters a week.  You can take longer than recommended or finish sooner if desired.  It is up to you how much time you want to spend on the course.

Sky Art Cloud project example from Java Programming

Some of the Java Programming Lab projects kids make in this course include:

Create a Checkerboard screen pattern

Identify and hunt program bugs

Create a race with a track and racer.

Phone Dialer

Create a pizza ordering screen.

Calculate Baseball batting statistics.

Create game pieces or classes.

Create Game for MidTerm project

Create a Math Factory that converts decimals.

Create a program to convert addresses to a file.

Create a method of monitoring algorithyms.

Create a Sky Art Cloud Scene

Create a diagram of a composite class

Create a shared image directory and web page

Create JavaDoc HTML

Final Project

Guided Projects

and more.

Requirements:

Java Programming course requires internet access and use of a computer, laptop or tablet with operating system: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 Mac OS version 10.7 or higher.  It also requires familiarity with using a keyboard and mouse and the basics of how to select and run programs, navigate application menu systems, and generally interact with the operating system on your device.   Kids taking the Java Programming course should know how to load and save files on their computer. If they do not have these minimum skills, then parents are encouraged to consider having their kids take the Digital Savvy course before taking Java.

Video:

Video that explains how Java Programming course works:

AP Computer Science A Exam

If your child desires to take the AP Computer Science A exam, this course is on the College Board recommended list. The Java Programming course will teach them all of the Java skills required for the test and no pre-requisites are required.

Social Media

Homeschool Programming
Facebook – www.facebook.com/HomeschoolProgramming
Twitter – https://twitter.com/HSProgramming

CompuScholar, Inc
https://www.facebook.com/CompuScholar
https://twitter.com/CompuScholar

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using CompuScholar courses in their homes.

Please share.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer Review

Our family was recently sent Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver – Author to review.

After I read the first four chapters to the kids aloud, my 12 year old son snatched the book from me and I didn’t get to finish reading until he was done!  We tried everything to get his attention, to get him to share the book, even to get him to notice we were still breathing, but nothing could deter him from reading this book!  He couldn’t and wouldn’t put it down!  Not even big brothers or little brothers could entice him to put it down!  This has never happened before!

Even food and bedtime didn’t distract him. By day or by night, even with the help of a flash light…he was determined to read and read and read…all 379 PAGES!

Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer

Paperback 

379 Pages

46 Chapters

Retails $15.99

This story is historical fiction about a teenage boy who lived a long long time ago in the valley of Canaan.  His name is Keshub and he is the youngest of five boys in his family.  They are from the Gibeonite village and have strong family and community bonds and traditions.  The book contains 46 chapters packed into 379 pages and includes additional pages for: Character and Relationship List, and Discussion Questions.

Even though the characters are fictional, many of the events, cultural aspects, and places are real.  The true story of Kesheb’s people is told in the bible in the book of Joshua and the pivotal event for his people securing their future can be found in Joshua 9 and 10.

Keshub is a shepherd boy and tends his flocks every day.  He is the son of a potter who earns a living making pots and selling or trading them with Caravans who travel through the Canaan valley.  Keshub hears many stories of far away places and events not so far away from the travelers.  The Gibeonites learn about the God of the Hebrews and how he protects, provides, and blesses them. They hear about the other tribes in the nearby areas being conquered in warfare with the Hebrews and as they approach their land, they decide to make a peace treaty with them.

Kesheb’s life is anything from boring.  Everyday he must care for his sheep and defend them from predators.  During the story we learn about an evil Ammorite King that lives nearby and Keshub becomes friends with his son. There is danger and risk involved through out the story.  Keshub also serves as a young spy to keep an eye on the Hebrews as they advance in their conquest.  His people have to choose to make a treaty with the approaching Hebrew army or make a treaty with the evil king to fight the Hebrews.

If God is for them, who can be against them?  Be sure to pick up a copy of this book, to find out the rest of the story!

Peggy Consolver – Author

Peggy Consolver has lived a very interesting life.  She grew up on a farm, went to college, and has been married 48 years.  She and her husband have two kids and five grandkids. She is president of the Plano Garden Club, State Chairman of the Flower Show Schools for Texas Garden Clubs, Inc.  Peggy is also an NGC Master Flower Show judge and Texas Design Consultant.  In the past she served thirty seven years as a Sunday School teacher.   She has a lot of interesting life experiences including traveling to Israel on a real archaeology dig which she based many details in her book on.  Read more about Peggy Consolver and her inspiring archaeological trip.

Free Online Study Guide

Peggy Consolver has created a free online study guide called Digging Deeper Into HIStory to help further the learning, (She also has a print copy with more resources for sale, check the website for details).  In the free study guide there are several links to websites and videos to help you learn more about what life is like in the region Kesheb lived.  In the guide you will learn about a rock sling, bow making, how to braid cord and make rope, maps, stars in the sky, animals and predators that live in the region of ancient Israel, etc.

The free Digging Deeper Into HIStory study guide is divided into 13 Units:

Unit 1:
The Bible Dictionary: Gezer Calendar
The Syrian Brown Bear: A Brief Overview

Unit 2:
Alpha Centauri: The Closest Star System to Our Sun
Israeli Mammals

Unit 3:
Instructions for Plaiting and Braiding

Unit 4:
Google Search: Aerial Views of Jerusalem
Sacred Destinations: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Unit 5:
Honey: Its Medicinal Property and Antibacterial Activity
How to Make a Tripod Lashing
Watch video: making square lashing.

Unit 6:
Tutankamun’s Senet Board
Watch video: Wadi Mujib Nature Preserve

Unit 7:
The Jewish Virtual Library: Jericho
Watch video: Intro to Bow Making

Unit 8:
Mt. Hermon Pictures

Unit 9:
Weapons Universe: Bronze Age Weapons
Watch video: How to use a sling

Unit 10:
Smokey Bear: Elements of Fire
How to Make a Fire

Unit 11:
Israel’s Nature Site: Mantids of Israel
National Geographic: Praying Mantis Overview

Unit 12:
Wild Fibres: Linen and Flax

Unit 13:
Bible History: Biblical Archaeology News 2016

Our Thoughts Using This Book and Study Guide In Our Home:

This book is very well written with lots of details.  The story builds suspense and it is hard to put it down.  It is so interesting that my 12 year old spent all his spare time reading the book and several nights stayed up past his bedtime. 

So I thought it would be a good idea for him to share his opinion of this book, in his own words as our official review.

“I was inspired by this book.  It gave me a new perspective of the bible and the Lord.  I like the character Keshub because he has faith in the Lord and because he never gave up when times were rough.  He had a lot of rough times.  He fought a bully, a lion, a bear, and a soldier.  Each situation he had faith that God would work it out for him.”

“I was also inspired because he took care of sheep and took care of his family and his friend.  He was brave even when things were dangerous and even when others were evil.  He used a sling with stones to fight a bear and the lion.  He used a dagger to fight a soldier.  He always wanted to learn to sword fight the enemy and he wanted to provide for his family.  He trusted the Lord with all his heart and with everything in his life.”

“I enjoyed reading this book.  The only thing I wish the author would have added was another 439 pages.  I didn’t want the story to end.”  Joseph

We also enjoyed using the free Digging Deeper into HIStory Study Guide. We enjoy learning how to make things ourselves that people used throughout history to live.  They didn’t have modern abundance of products and plastic or a Walmart up the street, so folks had to make what they needed from raw materials they could find or buy from the craftsman or trade for.

My son would like to make his own cordage, leather, and also a rock sling and practice using it. He enjoyed learning and has watched other videos showing how to make these slings from leather and also from weaving grass and use them with larger rocks for hunting prior to doing this study.  This would be useful to learn how to use a rock sling if you were hungry and had to hunt for a bird or if you needed to discourage a predator.

He has been wanting to make his own primitive hunting bow for a while.  It was interesting to see the bow made in the unit study link, even though it is made in a workshop with modern tools and is very different from the primitive bow made by hand he eventually plans to make.  Modern tools have shortened the time it takes to make things people depended on for survival for thousands of years.  

Kesheb had to survive with ancient tools and ancient technology. We like learning about ancient technology and life skills.  We have learned a lot from “how to” videos. These videos show how to use ancient skills with free resources in your own backyard, a field, or a forest, to create pottery and tools by a youtube channel called “Primative Technology”.   We refered back to these videos as we did the study guide and compared them with the suggested videos.   I would encourage folks to do the same as these videos give kids even more understanding about making tools by hand and ancient pottery like Kesheb’s people would have used.  It would enhance their understanding of ancient Canaanite life and enhance the study guide even more. I would also encourage folks to read about Joshua and the Gibeonites in their bible.

This is a great historical fiction book.  I would encourage every homeschool to read Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer and include the Digging Deeper into HIStory Study Guide.  This book and unit study was right in my son’s interest range and we were very glad for this opportunity to review it.

Videos about the book:

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peggy.consolver

Blog: http://peggyconsolver.com/blog-right/

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.

First Form Greek Review

My oldest son is fascinated by ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Roman history, their cultures, weapons, and their languages.  He is in high school and working towards his graduation transcript requirements. Thankfully, Memoria Press has many wonderful curriculum options that meet his variety of interests as well as requirements. 

He was thrilled to receive First Form Greek Complete Set by Memoria Press to review in our homeschool.  This course includes everything he needs to learn the ancient Greek language and it will meet his high school transcript language requirements.  This course fit perfectly in reaching his interests and goals. 

First Form Greek Complete Set

First Form Greek Complete Set

Grades 7-12

Retail $125

The First Form Greek Complete Set includes resources for both the student and the parent teacher.  It includes everything you need for learning ancient Greek.  Even though this is a beginner / intermediate level course for older students, it is recommended for the student to have some prior knowledge of Latin Language and to have learned the Greek Alphabet. Spending extra time learning Lesson 1 in the book will also help a new student learn this program if they have no prior experience.  See the course recommendations on the website for more details.

The First Form Greek Complete Set contains the following:

For the Student:

Lessons DVD

Pronunciations CD

Student Text

Student Workbook

Flash Cards

For the Parent / Teacher

Teacher Manual

Teacher Keys

Quizes & Tests Booklet

First Form Greek covers general vocabulary and grammar in a logical organized method.  The goal after finishing First Form Greek, is for the student to have mastered:

130 vocabulary words
Six indicative active tenses of the “omega” verb
Present tense of the “to be” verb
Two noun declensions
First & second declension adjectives
Personal & demonstrative pronouns

If your student desires to go further in their Greek studies, after completing First Form Greek, they will be better prepared for further studies in Greek New Testament and Septuagint or Classical Greek and understanding of Greek authors.

Items in the Complete Set:

Teacher Manual:

The First Form Greek Teacher Manual has everything the parent teacher needs to teach this class.  You don’t need prior experience, all the answers and explanations are provided for you and you can learn as you go.

The Teacher Manual contains:

a full copy of the Student Text with answers in color,

lesson plans for each day,

recitation schedule for each week,

oral drills,

parsing and analysis of Greek sayings,

references to similar linguistic features in Latin.

additional notes.

Quizzes & Tests booklet:

The Quizzes & Tests booklet contains:

reproducible weekly quizzes

unit tests that ensure material is being mastered,

and a grading rubric for the teacher.

Teacher Key:

The Teacher Key booklet contains:

answers to the workbook

answers to quizzes

answers to tests.

DVD Set:

The set of 5 DVD’s contains:

8 hours of instructions covering

10-20 minutes step by step lessons used at the beginning of each week.

Teacher: Elizabeth Pierce

Oral Drills

On Screen Examples

Onscreen Charts

CD:

The CD contains:

Pronunciation,

vocabulary,

sayings,

grammar forms for each lesson.

Student Text:

The Student Text contains:

26 Lessons + 5 Unit Reviews,

Lessons are on two facing pages.

 The student text provides a presentation of grammar in five units that cover 26 step by step lessons.  It includes appendices with English grammar, prayers, conversational Greek, a vocabulary index, etc.

Student Workbook:

The Student Workbook is focussed on logical practice and mastery of concepts and contains:

6 pages of exercises per lesson,

Lesson exercises to be completed in 4 days

Blank drill forms

Weekly reviews of vocabulary and grammar on day 5.

Unit reviews.

Flashcards:

Flashcards contain:

vocabulary,

Greek sayings,

grammar forms.

Our Thoughts Using First Form Greek

All of the resources in this set are wonderful high quality products.   So much is included to help you be successful and master Greek language skills.   Even though they have provided everything you need, this course is not easy!  It is very challenging and learning this language is harder than it looks!

This course is very well made.  I would personally expect to find such an indepth course in college, so high school students interested in this are really blessed to have such a high quality resource to work with.  I took French 1 and 2, German 1, and some intro in Latin for singers, in college and struggled learning languages because their were few resources.  I personally would have been thrilled with all the resources that are included in this set if I had this class in college!  It is very well put together.

My son and I found the DVD lessons to be an invaluable resource for this course.  I don’t think we could get through the class without them.  I know nothing about the Greek language, and it is very helpful to have a teacher on the DVD teach the lesson and demonstrate the correct pronunciation.  I am also thankful for the Teacher Manual and Test Key, because I would be lost without them when grading and trying to search for answers to my son’s questions.

Another thing I like about the text book is that it includes scriptures and talks about Jesus and encourages our faith.  I also like that it includes several pages of culture and ancient history with photos.

My son is very intelligent and focused in his personal learning objectives.  He devours every piece of information he seeks out.  He amazes me at his desire to learn knowledge.  There isn’t a day that goes by that he hasn’t done some extensive research into a subject.

He has taken an introductory class for Latin, and has learned a few Greek phonemes.  We moved in the middle of his Greek phonemes class, but expected he knew enough about Greek to take this course and do well in it.   We both thought he was better prepared to start this class than he actually was.

He went at it full force in the beginning and gave it his best effort for a few stressful weeks.  But he soon got discouraged because learning Greek was more challenging than he planned.

I would have probably given up by now trying to learn this language in my teenage or young adult years. When something was over my head, and I felt like I was failing, I would cut ties with it unless I could find a tutor or another solution to help me learn it.  I was blessed in college to find wonderful tutors and later able to become a tutor myself because I had such good caring examples.  My perspective about learning difficult things has changed as I am much older now, and the mother of six kids.   My attitude now is “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “don’t take everything life hands you so seriously” and pray and ask for guidance and keep going until you reach your goal.

After thinking through it, he decided to let go of the pressure of trying to do a lesson a week and continue his studies at a more relaxed and slower pace.

What we found that is currently working better for him is to spend more time watching and re-watching the video lesson of the week as he begins his Greek study each day to get it into his memory before reciting the words and phrases and trying to work in his workbook.  He has everything he needs so he can work independently at his own pace.  Next to him he set up his laptop to watch the DVD lesson as much as needed, and he has his text book and workbook right there too.   After watching the DVD lesson he reads the text lesson.  Then he can work on recitation, flash cards, and write in his workbook.  I only ask him to work 1 page a day in his workbook instead of the recommended two pages.   At this slower pace, each lesson will take him two weeks to complete instead of 1 week.  That is fine with me.

He is learning at a slower pace, and most importantly, at his own pace.   That is the beauty of homeschooling, you can adjust where you study and adjust the curriculum to fit each kid’s skills and interests as needed.  He is trying to absorb as much as he can in these high school years without getting overwhelmed as he tries to complete everything on the recommended highschool transcript for college.   He is wise in his young years to not give up, to try to think outside the box, and to keep pursuing his goals.  He is learning that you can adjust, life is flexible, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

I would highly recommend this course for folks who have taken introductory courses in Greek and those who are planning to study Greek on a college level.  Memoria Press has several lower level Greek courses to get started with if you have never had Greek before.   We plan to use the Elementary Greek courses and the Greek Alphabet course for our younger kids before letting them jump into this class that our older son is doing.   Learning Greek will be a bit easier if they tackle those courses first.  Be sure to check out the website recommendations and all of the various Greek language products they have to offer for different skill levels and ages.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/memoriapress/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/memoriapress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MemoriaPress
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/memoriapress/

Homeschool Review Crew

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

 

Please share.

Manhood Journey Review

We were recently sent Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit to review published by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.

If you have ever wished there was an easy to use bible study for the men in your family, then I would encourage you to check this bible study out.

Manhood Journey Is A Revolution

Manhood Journey has started a revolution.  It is a non-denominational mentorship program for guys.  It is flexible and can be used by all guys ages 8 and older including: fathers, grandfathers, sons, nephews, neighbors, friends, and small groups, etc.

There are 6 level modules to the program.  Each module is intended to last a duration of 6 weeks.  Each module can stand alone, or you can complete all 6 levels for a total of 36 weeks of mentorship.

1. Embarking

2. Clean Hearts

3. Standing Strong

4. Manhood Myths

5. Working Well

6. Leading Lessons

Check out this short video that explains the purpose behind Manhood Journey Studies and see why it is so revolutionary to the mainstream culture we live in today.

Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit:

We received the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit to review.  It comes with guided discussions and suggested activities to help guys get started in their journey of becoming a Godly man.  This handy kit contains everything you need to begin the journey, hold group discussions for up to 10 people, and complete the Embarking six week journey successfully.

Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit

Group Discussion Guide

1 on 1 Discussion Guide

DVD

10 Maprochures

Free Book: Wise Guys

Retail $29.99

This kit has a lot of resources.  I have listed below a short description of everything that came in our kit.

Embarking Group Guide

6 Week Group Discussion Guide.

This is the planning guide for the leader and is the starting point for all of the Manhood Journey group studies.  Suggestions in the book are intended to “break the ice”.   There are places to take notes and write down things the group shares.  There are discussion questions, prayers, and also suggestions for homework for the following meeting.  This guide helps the dad / leader bridge the gap to get guys talking together about the important stuff and what it means to be a “Godly Man”. This guide also helps get the guys oriented to the “five keys” or foundation stones of Biblical manhood.

Areas of Discussion:

Trust the Lord,

Pray Fervently,

Study God’s Word,

Build Relationships,

Serve Others.

Embarking 1 on 1 Discussion Guide

Next is the Embarking 1 on 1 Discussion Guide.

This handy book is for the Father Son meetings. It contains suggestions or “tips” for dad, personal discussion points, and activities to help father’s and sons 1) build the relationship 2) know God’s word, 3) serve others 4) talking with God.  Each week the guys will meet together to talk about a topic on Biblical manhood and share experiences.

Maprochures

The Maprochure is a visual guide.  It can be used to plan the Manhood Journey course you want to take and help you to encourage people to join the study.  It is a visual tool to equip dads and sons (or other guys) with information they need.  A small version of the map is also included in the back of the group and 1 on 1 discussion guides.

DVD

This DVD contains introductory videos for the group leader.

Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You

When you get your kit, it includes a bonus free copy of Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You by the Manhood Journey cofounder, Kent Evans.   He shares personal experiences, ups and downs, and God’s grace in his personal learning journey.  The book is an encouragement to help men dig deeper into their relationship with God and learning from the wisdom of Godly men around them.  He has included a sample lesson from the Embarking module at the back of the book.

Our Experience:

We started off with looking over the map and the DVD to understand the overall picture of the mentoring program, and then read through the guides. 

The material is easy to read and easy to follow discussion suggestions.


Our family spends a lot of time sitting and talking together and discussing scriptures they read.  This has been our routine since they were very little. These resources in this kit would be very helpful for families.  It gives dad’s with boys lots of ideas and suggestions for talking and building their faith.
Besides sitting together to talk, there are other times the guys share their ideas and what is on their heart.   One way dad and our sons talk about what is on their mind or talk about an issue of faith is while doing a task.  At our home, they are able to talk when they work side by side on projects around the house.  One of the favorite quality time activities they have been doing is woodworking when dad is home from work.  They also like to practice doing other things together while talking with dad. Another opportunity for fitting in discussions in our family is while the guys are driving to town to run errands and pick up supplies. The ride is a good quiet time together for them to talk about God and about issues of the heart.

I would definitely encourage families to spend  time together talking about issues of faith and the heart and looking at issues in our culture from a biblical worldview as much as possible.  A wonderful verse that comes to mind regarding “talking to kids” is a verse we try to live by found in Deuteronomy 11.

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,”  Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Check out this short video by Michael Kast Family Minister of South East Christian Church who also shares about the importance of fathers investing the time and resources to raise Godly sons and also shares a similar verse from Duetoronomy 6.

Useful Ideas For Using Manhood Journey:

Manhood Journey resources are flexible and could have many applications. These would make a great gift for a father, grandfather, son, brother, nephew, or other man in your life.   If you are a guy and want to lead a men’s group and are looking for new material to share, this would make a great resource for you too.

In addition to using this kit for the “father and son duo” in your life, here are a few more ideas for using these handy bible study resources:

Gift for men.
Father Son Bible Study,
Mentor relationship,
Church group study,
Local men’s group gatherings
Buisiness Men’s Fellowship
Parenting ,
Parenting Bible Study with tips for raising boys,
Bible Studies for Boys,
Homeschool Boys Curriculum

City On A Hill:

Social Media

Manhood Journey
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/manhoodjourney
Twitter: https://twitter.com/manhoodjourney

City on a Hill
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FollowCityOnAHill
Twitter: https://twitter.com/COAHStudio
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/CityonaHillTV/videos

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.

Bessie’s Pillow Book Review

What would immigrating to America in 1906 be like? What if you were only 18 years old, female, and came by boat from Lithuania? What if you were in a life and death escape of persecution because you were born a Jew?   I was thrilled to receive Bessie’s Pillow published by Strong Learning, Inc. and follow the journey of Bessie.

Bessie’s Pillow

Soft Cover

279 Pages

Retail $15.00

This book is the life story of Boshka Markman who’s name was changed to Elizabeth (Bessie) when she immigrated to the USA in 1906.  She overcame tremendous obstacles and struggles.  Along the journey she showed kindness, determination, wit, and she successfully made the transition in a new culture and a new life.

Bessie is a survivor and makes her own way in America. Most women of the day were still in their “approved” roles, submissive to cultural norms, and did what they were told. But Bessie showed an inner strength and resilience mixed in with her own independence that allowed her to survive on her own and make her own way.   She was business minded and knew how to work a deal and worked her way towards her goals.  She rejected many of the cultural norms of the day, including opinions from family and the Rabbi, and finds her own way.

Before leaving Lithuania, a woman gave her a hand made pillow and asked her to find her son and give it to him.  He had also immigrated to America some time earlier.  Bessie wasn’t sure how she would find this person, but she enjoyed the comfort of the pillow on her journey.  She eventually does find the young man, Nathan Dreizen and they fall in love and get married. They work hard, build a business, buy a home, and establish their own family in America.  When her husband dies, she has to learn how to cope on her own and earn money to care for the family so she takes over her husband’s business, a role that is typically only reserved for males in society.  She also becomes a mortgage lender for family and friends to help them get a start in buying a home and reaching their goals too.

Though the book is written as historical fiction, Bessie is a real person and most of the information in the book really happened to her. The book covers her life between the years of about 1904 to 1936.  The books is written on a reading level for older students and adults, though younger students will enjoy it too.

We loved reading this story!  The experiences shared are realistic and were actually experienced by many immigrants when they left their home country and came to America at this time in history. Bessie faced huge obstacles being a young Jewish woman, that she had to overcome at this time in history.  Bessie’s Pillow will keep you on the edge of your seat as you experience the ups and downs and tragedies and successes right along with this amazing young woman.  My son loves reading and he enjoyed reading about Bessie’s journey and gives the book two thumbs up.

Video about Bessie:

Unit Study

Bessie’s America is a wonderful FREE online Unit Study Guide full of links to cross curricular resources that go along with Bessie’s Pillow.  This guide was created especially for middle and high school age students but can be used by the whole family for discussions and to further the learning in American history and cultural heritage, etc, and gives a lot of additional background. Bessie’s America is an interactive, multi-media guide for use by Teachers, Parents, and Students. The links and resources are helpful for students to do additional research.

There are additional study questions, and learning projects in Bessie’s Pillow Teacher Guide.

These additional resources will assist students in exploration of the cultural background, various musicals and theater, movies, radio, immigration, the Progressive Era, events, diseases, food and recipes, places, famous people and life events that Bessie and her family experienced.

Author Linda Bress Silbert:

The book is written by Bessie’s granddaughter, Linda Bress Silbert as told to her by her mother.  Her mother asked her for many years to write the book. Linda has included some family photos at the back of the book that show several aspects of her Grandmother’s life.  She has also included many additional cultural and historical events in the back of the book to further the learning of the reader.

In addition to writing this wonderful historical fiction novel about her grandmother Bessie, Linda and her husband are also the owners of the StrongLearning.com publishing and tutoring company.

They have written over 40+ children’s books, plus additional books for parents and teachers.  They have sold over a million copies of their books over the years. They have also dedicated over 40 years to improving the lives and educational opportunities of children and provide a lot of great resources on their website.

Full Video is available about the process of how Bessie’s Pillow was written and came together.  Linda tells a very interesting and humorous way she gathered the stories of her grandmother and put the book together.  She says the book is 95% actual events of her grandmother’s life, and about 5% of the book comes from research she did about that time period in history.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BessiesPillow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BessiesPillow

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other Homeschool Reveiew Crew had to say about using this book with their families.

Please share.