Tag Archives: homeschool

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.

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.

Please share.

Hewitt Homeschooling: My First Report Review

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

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

My First Report

My First Report

Various Topic Themes

Unit Study Format

For grades 1–8

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

$8.95 each

or

SET of 14 Titles for $69.95

(40% savings)

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

Skills:

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

Skills used in My First Report include:

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

Unit Study Format:

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

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

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

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

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

Topic Theme Titles:

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

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

Our Experience:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bible Copy Work & Penmanship & Vocabulary:

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

The kids did a word puzzle included in the packet.

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

Reading:

We read about Brazil.

Read about Animals and Birds of South America.

Art:

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

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

Social Studies / Culture / Foods:

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

Field Trips:

Ate traditional South American foods at a local restaurant.

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

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

Missions:

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

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

Music & Math & Language:

Learned songs in Spanish.

Practices words and counting in Spanish.

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

Science:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media

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

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

Twitter
https://twitter.com/HewittOnline

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

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

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

Homeschool Review Crew

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

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Novare Science & Math: Introductory Physics ~ Review

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

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

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

Introductory Physics

General Chemistry

Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home

Science for Every Teacher

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

Introductory Physics

Hardback Student Text Book

376 Pages

Illustrated

   Grades 9-12

Retails $75

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

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

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

Introductory Physics text book includes:

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

Prerequisites:

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

Lab Experiments & Journal:

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

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

Companion Products:

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

Resource CD $50

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

The Student Lab Report Handbook $22.50

Solutions Manual to Accompanying Introductory Physics $15

Favorite Experiments for Physics and Physical Science $30

Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science $17

Experiments for Introductory Physics and ASPC $20

(contains teacher instructions and experiments)

Our Experience with Introductory Physics

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Mastery:

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

The Mastery strategy uses:

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

Integration:

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

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

Kingdom:

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

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

About the Author:

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

Social Media

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

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

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Novare Science & Math products with their families.

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Learning To Draw By The Sea

The ocean is an amazing thing.   Did you know water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface?  Scientists claim they have only explored 5% of the ocean so far.  That leaves a whole lot of mystery about this beautiful habitat that is so vital to the world in so many ways.  I would encourage everyone to visit the ocean at least once if they get the opportunity. Your senses will be overwhelmed and rejuvenated by the experience.

It is amazing to listening to the roar of the waves, get your feet wet or go for a swim, wait and watch for fish or dolphins to breach the surface, to observe birds swooping down to catch a fish, or sighting an occasional fishing boat out to sea.  The ocean is always changing and you could spend hours watching it.

Our family loves to visit the ocean!  We are usually blessed to take a day drive and visit the sea a couple of times a year.  Sometimes we drive several hours just to get out and walk the beach and splash in the waves for two hours and then get back in the vehicle and drive several more hours back home. Depending on which beach we visit, it takes us about 4 hours to get to the closest one.  It is a long ways to drive, but it is free to use the public beaches. If we pack a cooler with food and water, then the only cost involved is the fuel to drive there.  With a large family, getting to do something fun for FREE is a big deal.

On a few occasions, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend the night instead of driving there and back all in one day.  Those overnight experiences by the sea have been exceptional.  It is hard to describe the amazing way you feel when you wake up to the ocean, and get up with the sun rise, spend the day in the salty air, then get to observe the sunset, and listen to the waves in the dark of night as the stars twinkle overhead.  It is wonderful!

Learning To Draw By The Sea.

We recently had the opportunity to stay overnight on a visit to the ocean. We spent the morning and evening playing on the beach, but in the heat of the day, we needed something else to do to avoid getting a serious sunburn.   We did not bring electronic games or computers that are part of our normal homeschooling day.  Instead, we played board games like chess, put together fun puzzles, and spent part of our time learning to draw with the art kits we recently made.

It was so nice to have our portable DIY Art Kits.  Be sure to check the story with information on how to make one for your family.

The kits were small enough to go just about anywhere with us, yet they were big enough to hold just about everything we needed.

For some reason that I can’t remember, I didn’t get pictures of the kids drawing.  I guess I must have been so excited about the view, and the opportunity to sit there and draw, that I failed to get up and take pictures of what the others were making too.

For this project, I used the watercolor pencils.  I had hoped to make a project with paints too, but I didn’t have time to accomplish both on this trip.  My older son chose to use charcoal pencils from his kit, and the younger kids used crayons.  I pulled out a small table onto the porch to hold my drawing pad and pencils.

It was a bit windy on this day.  I separated the pencils colors that I wanted to use from the case holding the pencils.  I set them beside my drawing pad, however the wind kept blowing them off and I was constantly having to get up and down to catch a pencil before it rolled off the porch.  I realized the next time I take this art kit on a trip, I will need to bring something better to hold the colors I am using.  Perhaps something as simple as a rubber band or a small tray with sides would have solved my problem.

From the porch where I sat, I could see a long ways in the distance across the ocean and the beach up and down the coast.  To the front of me was ocean as far as I could see, and to the left was a small fishing vessel that soon disappeared while I was drawing.  I tried to capture both in my drawing.  The waves were the most difficult part to draw because they kept moving. Drawing the ocean wasn’t easy because even though it appears the same, in reality each and every moment it keeps changing.

Learning to draw by the sea was fun and it is an experience our family will never forget.

“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:10

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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.

 

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Snowy Morning

We woke up last Sunday morning to a beautiful site.  SNOW!

This was the first snow of any accumulation we have had all winter. The crazy thing is, it came after weeks of 70+ degree temps and things had already begun to bud and bloom for spring.  This was a total surprise!

The snow flakes were huge!

And left us just enough material to create some snow structures!

After a little bit of fun, it was time to get serious!  They began to build a wall.

And an opposing team formed and began to build a wall too!

It soon became a race to see who’s fortress would be completed first.

The victor in his fortress.

The other team still struggling to complete their fortress before the materials melt away.

Soon a friendly snow ball went through the air and well…

…all construction came to a halt…

It was a fun morning in the fast melting snow.

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Project Passport: The Middle Ages Review

Home School in the Woods offers top notch History based unit studies that kids and parents love!  They recently sent us HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages for our family to review.

Kids love to go on trips.  Why not take the kids on “a trip back in time”?  With this unit study your kids can pretend to take a journey, pack their bags and board a “time machine” right in your home to travel back in history to the Middle Ages.   On this trip, you won’t even have to hear the usual “are we there yet?”  This unit study journey is so much fun!

 

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages

Format: CD or Download (Mac & PC Compatible)
ISBN: 9780984204144
Retail $33.95 Download
Retail $34.95 CD

Suggested grades: 3-8
25 Lessons, Go at your own pace.
Tons of Printables For Parent / Teacher and Students
50 Projects and Activities
Arts, Crafts, Recipes
7 Dramatized Audio Tours

Lessons and Printables

The CD includes directions and masters for over 50 projects and activities. There is a HUGE menu of files.  Also included are Travel Tips, teacher keys, Additional Resources (to enhance the learning), and a Quick-Stop Itinerary. Photos of completed projects, and a three-page travel planner to help the teacher plan the the schedule with upcoming topics and projects at a glance.

Dramatized Audio Tours

Also included with this study are 7 Dramatized Audio Tours.  These audio dramas are fun to listen to and take you right to the action!  What a great way to get your kids right in to the daily life of the past by listening to and take this journey with the “Knight in Shining Armor Tours”.  The tour guide is Agatha and the coach driver is Brian and they will take the kids on various errands and excursions.

Your kids will spend time at a town Festival Day, visit a monastery where they will hear the sounds of Gregorian Chant, or visit the Battlefield of Hastings, and they might catch a glimpse of Duke William of Normandy! Wow!

Topics

There is so much to do on this journey.  It is more than just learning HISTORY!  This trip is filled adventure, exciting events, fun people to learn about, and lots of facts about life from the past. Some of the topics in this unit study include:

Barbarian Invasions
Daily Medieval Life
Class Structure in Society
Towns & Guilds
Science & Invention
Education
The Arts
Church History
Castles
The Crusades
Knights
Vikings
Weapons
Battles
Wars
and a whole lot more!

Projects & Writing & Arts & Crafts & Life Skills

A “Scrapbook of Sights” for storing notebook projects
Creative Writing projects for Lapbook
Souvenir Craft Cards with a dozen 3-D projects to make
A Newspaper “The Medieval Times”
A “Snapshot Moments in History” Scrapbook Timeline
“Postcards from Famous Folks”
Viking Ship
Castle
Puppets
Catapult
Tapestry
Hat
Wreath
Mosaic
Stained Glass
Herb Salts
Rose Water
Coat of Arms
Cooking & Recipes
A “Dining Out Guide”
2 Board Games

And More…

What We Thought

One of the things we like most about homeschooling is the freedom to choose curriculum that interests us.  The curriculum style that interests us the most is unit studies.  It is our favorite method for learning.  Unit studies are our first choice because they are flexible, adaptable, and there is such a huge variety of projects and resources that make learning any and every subject fascinating.

The first step for me after we received our product download was printing the information.  This unit study comes with a huge amount of printables for the kids as well as instructions for activities and lessons.   The mom / teacher definitely needs to be organized and print the lessons out and put them in some sort of a binder or file so you can keep track of the journey and get the supplies and printables ready for the adventure.  Besides mom’s binder, a computer, printer, and lots of paper, each kid also need a binder and a couple of file folders, glue, colored pencils and crayons, scissors, etc.

Our trip back in time to the Middle Ages includes 25 “stops” (1 +/- hour lessons) at specific locations where my kids learn what life was like during this time in History.   We went at our own pace and did 2 lessons a week. We skipped around a bit in the lessons and are half way through at the time of writing this review.  This study should take us about 14+ weeks to complete at this pace, but I plan to stretch it out longer with some additional activities.

Here is a list of a few of the STOPS and PROJECTS we have made so far:

Stop 1: Laying the foundation / packing for the trip.

Create a “Luggage” Folder and Passport.

The next step is to help the kids make a luggage or a travel suitcase, and a passport for the journey.  They will re-use these items in future Project Passport studies you do.  The suitcase helps keep all their papers and projects organized on their trip so they don’t get lost.  Kids can use the completed printables they stored in their suitcase to create a Lapbook at the end of the journey that showcases what they have learned. Another step to prep was to print out the history timeline, news paper, and scrapbook of sights so we were ready to add in tidbits along the journey.

The “prep” work and the first “stop” (lesson) was the most challenging for me as I learned to print out everything and make the “storage” or “foundation” projects of the unit study.  After that, it was easy to look at the organized lesson plans for the day and follow the plan.  The rest of the lessons take about an hour or less to complete.  All of the lessons and project instructions, crafts, and recipes are provided in the unit study and are easy for the kids to follow.

Stop 4: Everyday Life – Family and Class Structure

Firewood & Fence & Farming:

While learning about Class Structure and the Feudal System of land tenants (Serfs and Peasants) working the land for the land owners (Lords), we found ourselves wanting to know more about the daily life of the Serfs and Peasants who raised food.  We have a long way to go yet, but a few of things we focused on so far was “fuel” to cook and heat with, tools, and fencing to hold animals in a designated area.

A two worksheets are provided as well as an audio tour for this section. Since we like homesteading and farming, we decided to add more hands on projects learning about how people farmed / homesteaded during the Middle Ages to our study. We will be adding in more learning in this section in the future.  We plan to learn how to build a replica of a dwelling, how to lash boards together, how they started fire with friction, fishing with nets, butchering, growing harvesting storing and grinding grain, growing a vegetable and herb garden, etc.  These are skills that will be invaluable to these kids in the years ahead and help them connect their learning about the lives of people who lived in the past.  Tweaking a lesson here or there is the great flexibility that we love about unit studies.

Since we have been using this study during the months of January and February we focused on homesteading projects from the Middle Ages that were done this time of year.   These projects fit right in perfect timing to our study.

Chopping and gathering firewood and building and repairing fence was a common practice in January and February for the Serfs and Peasants.

January and February was also spent repairing hunting nets and repairing and building traps, sharpening tools, making utensils etc.    So we worked with the kids on learning how to sharpen a pocket knife and we also took the kids to the lake and they made their own small bait traps and worked on their fishing poles when they got snagged and lost their lines.

While researching how the Serfs and Peasants farmed the land, we learned that the most common form of fence used in small scale farming in the Middle Ages was called a “hurdle”. It is built of a “waddle” or woven fence panel made of upright posts and willow (or other flexible wood or vines available) woven in between the posts.   The next kind of fence used the most was hedges and stone fences or walls were also common if enough stone was available.  All of these fences were used to keep livestock in a boundary, either a small pen or a small field that was on crop rotation with livestock.  The fence or hedge held livestock penned in, or it held them out of gardens, graveyards, and orchards.

We could of made a small replica of the waddle fence panels and may still do this, but one of my sons likes to “build big”. Since he did not have the flexible material on hand to weave in and out of his posts he tried another method to make a simple fence panel about 5 feet long made of upright posts.

Of course 5 feet of fence isn’t enough to keep animals in, so this panel would have been combined with several more panel sections to create an actual fence.   These paneled fences would have been joined together to create pens for milk cows, ox, chickens, pigs, and sheep.    He used a small ax to make the panel and it was very obvious to the kids that just creating one panel was a lot of work.  Folks who farmed or homesteaded in the middle ages had to work very hard to do even simple tasks.

Stop 5: Everyday Life – Clothing and Food

Herb Bread:

When making the recipes, you can cook these in your modern kitchen, fire place, or outdoors.   We did some of both. We wanted to try cooking over an open flame/hot coals for a more realistic experience.  It is a lot harder to cook outside, build a fire, prep and cook the meal, bake bread, etc than it is to make this in today’s modern kitchen.   It was fun to try it out both ways.

Pictures of our creating our Herb Bread:

This bread was so delicious!  Some of the kids ate it plain, some ate it with butter, and some ate it with strawberry jam.   My husband loved it too!

Everyone wanted second and third servings of this delicious bread.  The crust and texture of the bread came out amazing!

My son also wanted to try topping his slice of bread with honey.  Every way they tried it, they enjoyed it.

 

Barely Stew

For the stew, we changed the recipe to fit what we had on hand. That is how the people in the Middle Ages did it too.  If they had an ingredient they used it, if not they substituted.  This is a good exercise in helping people to be flexible, content, and make do with what you have on hand.  Here is a picture of what the kids put into their stew.

He ate several slices with butter and then wanted to try it out with strawberry jam.

Outdoor cooking with Herb Bread:

This was another “extra” we added into our hands on learning.  Folks cooked over a fireplace in the Middle Ages.  We decided to make our “Middle Ages fireplace” kitchen in the back yard with some old bricks laying around and cook a few meals listed in the “Dining Out Guide”.

We made the fire place big enough to accommodate two fires or two cooking areas.   Two of the boys made their fires to the best of their ability to see who could heat up their bricks and get their fire just right for cooking first.   These two are competitive.

It was well after dark before we could get the fires to die down enough to cook on.

The kids learned it takes a long time to build a hot fire, heat their bricks, then let the fire die down to hot coals to bake bread.

We did not have a dutch oven pot or any “Medieval pots” to cook the bread in so we improvised with foil and shaped the foil like a pot and a lid.   The kids used the same herb bread recipe we had made in the house, and this time they put it in the foil pot we made and placed it on bricks we put in the hot coals to bake.

This is the finished bread from the outdoor fire.  It tasted delicious, though it looks misshapen or funny!  With more practice, they will be able to shape it better.

We sliced it up and lathered it with butter and some of the kids had strawberry jam with it and it was delicious!  The outdoor fireplace bread tasted just as good as the bread we had baked in the house in our modern stove oven.

We would like to try to create some pots from the middle ages to cook food in again.  We might make some clay pots and try firing them in the fire in the future.

Porridge

This was a common food eaten by peasants and surfs during the Middle Ages.   This is also a common breakfast food my kids are familiar with.  We have it once or twice a week.  It is very nutritious!

Stop 6: Everyday Life : Community

Field Trip Castle:

One of the fun activities in this lesson is to build a replica of a castle. Included are directions to build a castle with sugar cubes.  But my kids wanted to build one that will last and they can actually play with when they are through building it, so we are budgeting out money to buy a hobby brick kit to build one.  We also have a wooden castle the kids have played with for years and the kids often build small castles with Legos.   We pulled out our pictures from a while back when we actually took a field trip to see a real castle.  The kids remember this well and talked about it as they learned about castles in this unit study.

Stop 7: Everyday Life – Crime, Punishement, Entertainment

Jousting and Fox and Goose Game

This section was really interesting to the kids because one of the suggestions is to play indoor and outdoor games: checkers, chess, horseshoes, marbles, dice, board games, capture the flag, tag, games with balls, and physical training activities to become a knight, etc.    They also learned about a competitive game knights and warriors played to prove themselves in a challenge called Jousting.

Stop 13:  Medicine and Disease

Herbal Salt:

“Medicinal” herb salt.

Herbs and super foods were “medicine” in ancient times.  Folks who knew how to use strong herbs and oils and salt survived some of the darkest diseases in history.  Nowadays, petrochemicals are used to make synthetic medicines.

Though it is sad how many people died of the plague during the Middle Ages, learning how to make your own herbal remedy was an interesting lesson to explore.  This is a subject we are very interested in.  We have spent some time in the past learning about herbs used for healing.  We have made elderberry extract, tinctures, various kinds of honey, teas, and several herbal remedies over the years.  This study gave simple instructions for creating an Herb Salt that is just salt and dried herb(s) of your choice that can be used both in cooking and health care.   We made an herbal remedy with oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, and sea salt for this project.  Whenever one is feeling down, you can stir a teaspoon of this into hot water and drink it to restore minerals and act as an antibiotic anti fungal.   You can add a touch of raw honey and lemon juice for even more benefits.  We also rub the herb salt mixture into meat before cooking, or use it to season broth or other foods or put some in your bath water too.

We would like to create an actual “Herbal Apothecary” someday.   We are in the process of learning how to do this.  We have a good start with herbs, salts, essential oils, and dried super foods that ancient people in history knew how to use to support the body.

Stop 22:  Battles, Wars, Conflicts

Catapult:

During this journey, the kids learned about ancient weapons that were used during warfare.  One of those weapons was a catapult.  We built our own catapult variation with the instructions supplied.  We substituted some of the supplies listed.  We built our catapult using twigs, a pocket knife, rubber banks, and hot glue.   It turned out fantastic and worked perfectly.

It is amazing how sturdy this catapult is and how well it works!

Now the boys want to build a big life size model.  Oh boy!

One of the boys also built a Lego catapult.  He had a battle with his Lego men.  This catapult worked very well too.  Do you know how hard it is to find a Lego that was flung across the room?

Swords:

Dad helped the kids make wooden swords a while back.  They had a lot of fun making them.

It was fun to have their own sword and compare it to the weapons used in the Middle Ages unit study.   The 12 year old made a paper hat for a king, draped a blanket on as a cape and pretended he was in a heated battle with the others to protect his kingdom.

Someday they would like to make an actual shield to go with their sword. They would also like to make a long bow and set up an archer range.  They have shot bows and cross bows before.  But they are interested in making their own primitive long bow now.  They have been researching how to make it, but we haven’t built it yet.  I just hope no-one gets hurt with all these battles they like to act out.

Stop 25: Final Stop – Packing Up

Lapbook

Lapbooks are one of our favorite projects.

The Lapbook is the last lesson #25 in the Project Passport Middle Ages, but we decided to put ours together as we went along for the purpose of this review so our reading audience could see it in action.

We are about half way through with the Lapbook at the time of writing this review.

We still have a ways to go to finish this study of the Middle Ages and in addition to the recommended activities, we are adding some “extras” into our study as we find the time.   These additional activities will add a few more weeks onto our hands on learning.  The kids are really enjoying this unit study.

Because this is a flexible unit study, you can go faster or slower and pick and choose which lessons you want to complete.  For example if you speed up to 3 lessons a week, and do all of the lessons, you can finish this study in 8 weeks, or if you slow down and do 1 lesson a week on the journey, this unit study will last a full 25 weeks.   We chose to go at our own pace, plug in the activities we were interested in, added in a few additional ideas we researched, and customized the study to fit best with our family’s interest and schedule.

Check out this video that explains even more about Project Passport unit studies.

Home School In The Woods offers free samples of audio dramas and lessons and much more.  Be sure to check out their free samples on their website.  We love their History Timelines too!  Home School In The Woods is a great resource for homeschool families.   We highly recommend all of the great products at Home School In The Woods.

Homeschool In The Woods

Be sure to check out all of the great products from Home School In The Woods.  And be sure to check out all of the HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Studies series including their latest “Ancient Greece”.  They will have “Ancient Rome” available soon and are adding new products all the time. 

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Homeschool Review Crew:

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Home School In the Woods HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport Studies in their homeschool.

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Jesus Rescues The Lost

If you would like to motivate and encourage your kids to learn stories from the bible, I would encourage you to read Bible stories with your kids and make the stories into Unit Studies.  Unit Studies are cross-curricular and subjects (such as math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a central theme and are adaptable so they are great for teaching all ages.

For example, if you are learning about apples, all the curriculum subjects will have an apple theme.  You might do apple math, or apple science, or apple history, or write a poem about apples, etc.  Unit Studies are hands on,  they can be as simple or specialized as you design them to be, and they help children retain what they have learned.  You can teach preschool, elementary, middle and high school all at the same time by varying the level of difficulty of the worksheets, experiments, and reading materials.

This school year we are doing lots of Unit Studies with a bible story theme. Each Unit Study is different, with different themes, but they all center around a theme that came from the bible.  For example, if we are learning about musical instruments, we might choose the ones found in the bible, or if we are learning about castles or fortresses, then we can choose a story or few stories in the bible that mention this and then build on our learning about the history and construction of fortresses.  Perhaps we want to learn about the eyes and we focus on sight and the brain, calculate vision, learn about colors and light,  the disease of blindness, and the miracles of healing sight of the blind that Jesus did.

If you have younger kids, an easy teaching resource like the illustrated The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a wonderful way to get started.   It contains 90 Bible stories at an affordable price of $16.99.   They also have The Beginner’s Bible Website for families and teachers to use with lots of coloring pages and activities for free to compliment the stories you are reading.

A quick search on the interenet will provide you with lots of other ideas you can add to your Unit Study as you build it such as more free printables, lesson plans, craft and recipe ideas, etc. and you can use many of the printables to create lapbooks or keepsake notebooks of their projects too.

The stories in The Beginner’s Bible are written in a simple to understand way and include colorful illustrations that engage the kids and keep their interest.   So I wanted to use this as the foundation of the Unit Study learning projects and built additional materials I found into our learning adventure.

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study & Lapbook

We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities from The Beginner’s Bible Website.   They have lot of resources to choose from including two FREE sample curriculum lesson plans.  They sell a curriculum kit too.  We do not have the kit, but the free lesson plans give you a great teaching format to use to build your own lessons.

I printed out the free lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study.   These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.

I made a “Bible Teaching Binder” for myself, and a “Bible Lapbook” for the kids with all of these wonderful free printables.   On the front of the binder I put the suggested reading schedule.   Inside the binder I put the printalbes and any lesson plans I find or create myself.

I keep all of the Unit Study and Lapbook materials in a basket, with pencils, crayons, markers, glue, etc with our Bible so we can easily set this up for our learning time each day.  I also put in any other resources we will be using that relates to the story such as a science experiment, crafts supplies, recipes we will make and other activities, and other books related to the subject we are learning.  There are lots of varieties of ways you can set this up easily so if you don’t like the basket idea, then you could put the printables in folders or daily workboxes or use another method that works in your home.

My binder is huge and will hold all the lesson plans from the Unit Studies I create using The Beginner’s Bible.  I added dividers to help me stay organized.  I kept the first section inside the binder for the Unit Study we are currently working on.  This is where I put a copy of the free lesson plan “Jesus Rescues the Lost” in my teaching binder.  The lesson came with 8 pages of free lesson plans!   Next, I added in various coloring pages and other printables and craft ideas and directions.  I will use the additional sections in the binder the same way for more lesson plans as we create more bible themed studies.  I plan to have about a years worth of plans in the binder by the time we are finished.   The kids will have completed about 30 Unit Studies and 30 Lapbooks by the time we are finished.

The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible and watching a video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.   The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.  You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.

The Unit Study in Action

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study based on the illustrated stories in The Beginner’s Bible and the free lesson plan and suggested printables from the website:

Bible Reading and Speaking:

Read 3 bible stories outloud:  “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son“.

Audio Video Observation:

Watched the Free Video for Lesson Plan#23  Jesus Rescues the Lost.

Watched a video about the modern life of sheep in Idaho. This video goes over many different things such as economics, land management, herd management, wool, and contains interviews with the sheep farmers too.

History:

Learned about the history of shepherding sheep.

Math:

Counting: Younger kids counted cotton balls to represent sheep’s wool.

Graphing: Older kids learned to make a graph that followed the sale price of sheep over a period of time.   They also made a graph for the lambs showing the amount of food the sheep eats compared to the rate of growth.

Science:

Learned the major body parts of sheep.

We found this worksheet on Page 23 of a 4H manual we found online and it has worksheets for different animals.

http://www.ohio4h.org/sites/ohio4h/files/d6/files/publications/documents/4H_959_Chapter_2.pdf

Learned nutrition and health care of sheep.

Writing:

Practice writing pages.  Here my youngest son is practicing the letter “P” from the story of “The Lost Son” about the prodigal son who wasted his inheritance and ended up in a pig pen and later returned to his father who welcomed him home.

Additional letters to practice are: J (Jesus), R (rescue, redeem), L (lost), I (inheritance), H (healing), S (Samaritan, shepherd, save, and sheep).

We also practices spelling the word “sheep” with this printable.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/sheep-handwriting-worksheet-0

Older children could practice rewriting the entire story on notebook paper, or writing it in cursive for additional writing practice.

This is a cute writing page you can add to your Lapbook or notebook.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/sheep-notebooking-page

Arts and Crafts:

Colored print out pages from The Beginner’s Bible website that correspond to the stories we read.  In this picture, my daughter is coloring a page from the story “The Lost Sheep”.

Created paper sheep puppets with printouts included.  You can glue cotton balls onto the sheep (younger kids can practice counting the cotton balls) and put construction paper on the back and attached to a popsicle stick, and the children can hold onto the stick to retell the story. You can also glue the printout to a toilet paper roll and that helps the sheep stand up on their own.

Lapbook:

We used two folders and some glue and created a Jesus Rescues the Lost Bible Story Lapbook to store their finished learning activities.  If we continue to create lapbooks like this for the entire illustrated Bible, combining two or three stories per lapbook, the kids will have 30+ Bible Unit Studies and Lapbooks for the year.

Building Diorama:

The last step in our learning adventure of Jesus Rescues the Lost, was to create a Lego sheep and shepherd diorama and use them to retell the bible story of Jesus (the shepherd) looking for the lost sheep (us).

 

Building with Legos or other building blocks to create scenes from a story you have read is so much fun.

Movie Creation:

I hope to have time for the older boys create a movie with these props they made where they can record their own retelling of the story.  They love to make stop motion animation movies with Legos.   We ran out of time to make the movie, but I hope we have it completed soon for a followup story.

Optional ideas to include in this Unit Study are:

Field Trip ideas: take a field trip to a sheep and goat farm

Crafts and activities ideas: that would make this project lots of fun such as make a donkey, horse, pigs, a farm, a special ring, a shepherd staff, create a money bag, etc.  Older kids would have fun creating (sewing or crafting) costumes to use to retell one of the stories.  Perhaps they could also wear the costume and retell the story to a homeschool coop class or at a family gathering.

Math ideas: you could practice counting sticks to make a fence or pig pen, or count money in a money bag.   Perhaps they could figure out a pretend hospital bill for services and supplies used for the injured man.

Science and Health ideas: You could also learn about health by making a first aid kit or herbs for healing supplies to care for the wounds of the injured man and nurse him back to health.  You could learn about bacteria and healing wounds and learn the feed rations, nutrition, and digestion for pigs, sheep, and horses.

Cooking: You could also throw a feast and serve guests to represent the father welcoming home the prodigal son.  You could research meals that were served to back in bible times to include in your feast.   You could wear the costumes you made or decorate the table with the crafts and props you made.

Be sure to check out my review story of The Beginner’s Bible and also the Noah and the Lego Ark story for more great ways to encourage bible learning with your kids.

There are so many fun ways to create a Unit Study with this illustrated Bible as the central foundation for your themes.  I am very pleased with how this has turned out and I think this is a wonderful way to learn.  I think Unit Studies and Lapbooks are a special way for kids to share what they have learned, and store the worksheet pages they have completed.

Please share.

Phonetic Zoo Review

Do your kids struggle with spelling?  Most kids do because the way sounds are spelled in the English language can be confusing.  If you want your kids to become great spellers, you might want to check out The Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A [Starter Set] by Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).

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The Phonetic Zoo

Levels A, B, or C.
Take the placement test and choose the right level for your child before you begin.

Grades 3 – 8

Retails for $99.00

Each Phonetic Zoo Starter Set includes:

  • 5+ audio CDs (includes MP3 downloads)
    or also available for purchase as MP3 downloads and no CDs
  • Lesson Cards with spelling words and jingles
  • Personal Spelling Cards to keep track of your student’s typical misspellings
  • Zoo Cards that serve as a way to practice jingles or as rewards
  • 75 page Downloadable Phonetic Zoo Teacher’s Notes PDF file

In addition to the materials, you are encouraged to watch two videos to help you as the parent / teacher:  the “Excellence in Spelling” video and the “Spelling and the Brain Video Seminar”.

Each Lesson in The Phonetic Zoo has similar steps:

  • Phonetic Rule, Cards with Corresponding Zoo Animal, Jingle or Hint,
  • Discussion,
  • Word Lists (audio and print), Spelling Test, and Correction.

You move through the lessons at the pace set by your child.  Each lesson takes about 10 minutes and they will learn a phonetic rule, have discussion built into the lesson, and learn to master spelling 15 to 20 new words using the rule they have learned.

It is suggested to go as slow as, or as fast as it takes for your student to get a 100% score two times on a lesson to show they have mastered the material.  So a lesson may only take you two days, if your child can get 100% each time, or a lesson may take you 7 or 10 days.  Just keep repeating the material for 10 minutes a day, until they have mastered the given lesson twice before moving ahead to the next lesson.  If you taught the same lesson and did the same spelling words for 4 or 5 days each week, then start a new lesson the following week, program should last you the full school year.  But again, the key is to remain flexible and allow your student to progress at their own pace.

How we used Phonetic Zoo:

We were sent the Phonetic Zoo Level A Starter Set for the purpose of this review.  Level A contains 47 Lessons on 5 Audio CD’s (or MP3) ; large zoo rule and word cards, small flashcards, and the Teacher’s Notes e Book also includes all of the lessons, teaching notes, the final exam, printable word posters, zoo card pages, word lists and printouts.

I decided to write this story as a series of HOW TO steps.  WHY?  Because it helped me and it might help you too.   You can follow these steps too to help make sense of what you need to do, what your child needs to do to complete this wonderful program.  It is different than other spelling programs, and I think it may help you to see some steps we took to make it successful for us.  It is divided into two sets of steps: “Prep”, and “Lessons”.

Prep

Step 1:  I watched the 9 minute “Excellence in Spelling” video.

Step 2:  We took the  FREE Placement Test.  This is a great resource and helps your child start right where they need too.  There are three levels to this program: Level A,  Level B, and Level C.  You will want to place your child in the right level so they can be successful.

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Step 3:  Placed my order for the correct level (A, B, or C) of Phonetic Zoo my student needed based on what we learned from the results of the free placement test (see the red link above). We ordered Level A.

Step 4: Watched the 1 hour Spelling and The Brain video seminar.   You can wait for the product to arrive before you watch the video, or you can get jump started while you are waiting by watching this video now!

Step 5:  Organize my Zoo (my materials for Phonetic Zoo).

Have you ever heard the saying “not my monkeys, not my zoo” ?  Well in this case these are my monkeys and this is my zoo.

We are homeschooling 6 kids and it is so easy for the shelves and stacks of books and supplies to get messy and piled up fast (see the example behind him,  that shelf holds math manipulatives, crayons, pencils, flash cards, and notebooks and the kids get in a hurry and when they are done using them, they just shove their stuff in fast and go, and it quickly becomes a mess).  Since we were about to enter the Phonetic Zoo, and knowing how fast books and supplies can go missing or stacked in the wrong place in “our zoo”, it is best to set my self up for success,  be a good “zoo keeper”, and get my self organized!

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When you receive your Phonetic Zoo shipment, organize the kit you receive and your supplies (large and small zoo cards, CD’s, headphones, notebook, pens NOT pencils (or use a pencil without the eraser), etc.),  in an easy to access storage box (shoe box, milk crate, table organizer, book basket, shelf, or whatever works for your family, etc.).

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Put a metal ring (or use a clip) on the large cards, and a rubber band (or a baggy) around the small cards.

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Be sure you have a computer that can play an audio CD (or MP3 device), and it is helpful to have headphones (we have ear buds) for your student to use while listening to the CD’s (or MP3).

Step 6: PRINT out the Phonetic Zoo Teacher’s Notes  e-Book (Teacher’s Guide) from the link on the IEW website you are provided with after making your purchase, and put your teacher’s guide into a binder.  This is a 70+ page teaching resource you will want to keep handy.  You can also download the MP3 files of the CD’s and store them on your computer device too.

Teacher's Notes e-Book

Teacher’s Notes e-Book, Phonetic Zoo Level A

Step 6:  Yahoo!  We let out a shout and smacked ourselves on the back!  Great Job!  We finished our prep work and were ready to get started!

Lessons:

In this section, I will walk you through Lesson 1.  It may look like a lot, but each lesson only takes about 10 minutes a day.

Step 1: We got out our zoo supply basket we made.  This was so nice to have everything all together and ready.  I read through our first lesson in the Teacher’s Notes that I also keep in the basket with everything.

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Lesson 1, Phonetic Zoo Level A

Step 2: I read the phonetic rule from the lesson and provided him with the large zoo flash card to review. The rule is listed on the back, and on the front are a picture that corresponds with the rule and words to practice using the rule.  It is a nice way to practice going over the rule and remembering it.

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Step 3:  Next I gave him the small flash card to read.  It has the rule we just learned on one side and the zoo animal on the other side.  He can use this to remind himself about the rule we learned.IMG_1212 - Copy

Step 4:  He set out his paper to write on, set out his flash cards, put in the CD for Lesson 1, and his ear buds.   When he started the lesson, on the screen popped up a small box that controls the lesson.   The lesson is all audio (not a visual lesson) and requires him to listen closely to what is being said on the CD.

Step 5: My son numbered the lines on his paper from 1 to 19 (some lessons were to 18 and some were to 19).  You can pause the CD lesson as needed.  If you don’t want to print out your own numbers, there is a pre-numbered printable you can keep re-printing for your student to use for each lesson.  We just used a spiral bound notebook instead.

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Step 6:  Next he wrote out the words in the spelling test spoken by the instructor on the CD.

Step 7: Next he corrected his words on the list by writing a second column of the same words on the same lines next to the first words he wrote.    The correct words are both on the CD and on the zoo flashcards.  This process allowed him to see how he did and where he needed more practice.   The instructions from the curriculum are that he must receive two 100% scores on the material before he can proceed to the next lesson.

Step 8:  Personal Spelling.  We repeated the same steps for every 4 lessons BUT on the 5th lesson (lessons 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 47) we were instructed to use his favorite words he picked himself.  These words could come from each section of 4 lessons, or be other words he wanted to use.

Step 9:  Final Exam.  We have not completed this yet.

That is it in a nut shell.  10 minutes a day.  Master the spelling test by 100% twice then move forward to the next lesson.  BOOM!!!

I am excited about using this spelling curriculum with my kids.  For the purpose of this review, I started this program with my 5th grade son.  But now that we have used it and know how simple it is and how much confidence he feels from mastering this technique, I will be using it with my other children as well.  This will give them all the added confidence in knowing how to spell a variety of words, and it only cost them 10 minutes of their day.  WOW!  I wish everything could be accomplished in 10 minutes a day.  Maybe it can and I just need to see a new perspective on how it can be done, just like mastering spelling.  Definitely worth it for both of us.

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Institute for Excellence in Writing makes learning fun and easy.  IEW has a way of making Language Arts skills easy and interesting to kids, those very skills that kids might otherwise find hard or boring.  Kids develop an internal motivation to challenge themselves and reach their achievable goal.  They have developed simple systems of teaching parents and teachers how kids really learn effectively and their materials are top notch.  I would encourage you to check out how you can fit these wonderful curriculum resources into your homeschool learning.

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Be sure to connect with IEW on their Social Media links to keep up with all the latest teaching tips, news, and product updates.

IEW  BLOG   http://iew.com/help-support/blog

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

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

Vimeo  http://vimeo.com/iewtv

Twitter  https://twitter.com/iew

You Tube  https://www.youtube.com/user/iewtv

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+Iewriting/

Instagram  https://instagram.com/iew/

IEW Review

Check out what others on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using The Phonetic Zoo and other products from IEW with their families.

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