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Micro Business for Teens Schoolhouse Crew Review

Teens always need money, but earning it can be difficult.  My 15 year old son and I recently had the chance to review some ebooks from Micro Business for Teens which are designed to help teens start and run their own business.  The books we received are Starting a Micro Business, Running a Micro Business and Micro Business for Teens Workbook.

Micro Business for Teens Review
These books are designed specifically for teens, so while the business are more complicated than a lemonade stand they aren’t designed to be major undertakings.  As the author explains a Micro Business is like a small business, only smaller!  There are no employees and the business is simple and cheap to start.  These books are designed for kids ages 10 and up, although children at the younger age of the range will need more assistance from Mom and Dad with a potential business.

Artistic Pursuits: Construct Schoolhouse Crew Review

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Art is not my son’s favorite subject in our homeschooling.  And I am not the most artistic person either, so we have mostly outsourced our art instruction.  But when I saw the new books from ARTistic Pursuits I was intrigued, because they cover Sculpture, which sounds much more fun to both my son and I than drawing or painting.  So my son agreed to help me review the Sculpture Technique: Construct book and try some three dimensional art.

ARTistic Pursuits ReviewThe Program

This book is designed for ages 11-18, and is all about using an additive construction process to put materials together to make sculptures.  This book has 4 units, which are:

  • Creating Form in Papermaking
  • Creating Planes in Cardboard
  • Creating Motion with Paper-mache
  • Creating Volume with Wire

You can work through the units in any order, but we decided to start with the Papermaking unit, mainly because I had made paper before with my older girls and thought it was neat.
So we got our our papermaking dip kit and got to work.

Victus Study Skills System Review

Study skills are important for all students, especially as they get older and are dealing with high school and college courses.  One thing I have learned from my two oldest kids is that while some children are good at organizing and studying others need to be taught the skill explicitly!  So when I had the chance to review the Victus Study Skills System for my fourteen year old son I figured it was excellent timing.  My son is in 9th grade, so classes are getting harder and this is perfect time to establish good skills that will carry him through more difficult course work.

The Program

VictusLogo_zps1f12bd33I received the Student Workbook and Teacher Edition to review.  This course is designed for children in grades 5-12, and the Student Workbook retails for $20, while the Teacher’s Edition costs $40.  The program is designed around three foundational cornerstones, which are designed around three questions that the student needs to answer:

The Presidential Game Review

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My family enjoys playing board games together, so we were happy to get the chance to review The Presidential Game, which bills itself as “The Most Powerful Game in the World.”  This game was both fun to play and educational, which made it a huge hit at my house. photo logo_zpse414894c.jpg

The game simulates a U.S. Presidential election, and is played by two teams, the Republicans and the Democrats, who battle for control of the country. Teams play for a predetermined number of weeks of a campaign, and the team that has more than 270 votes at the end of the game is the winner.  Game play moves along at a good pace, with games lasting anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and half.

Institute for Excellence in Writing Review

Becoming a good writer is critical for students today.  I have used quite a few different writing curriculum over the years, but one of my favorites are the products offered by the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  Andrew Pudewa teaches these classes, and he is an excellent speaker and teacher who I have been fortunate enough to hear in person on a number of occasions.  So I was happy to have the chance to review two of his programs,  and Student Writing Intensive Level C Set (SWI) and Teaching Writing with Structure and Style Set (TWSS).

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Moving Beyond the Page Homeschool Curriculum Review

I recently had the chance to review some homeschool curriculum units from Moving Beyond the Page for my son who just finished 8th grade.  This is a comprehensive curriculum that covers science, social studies and language arts, and it is based on using living books, activities and projects.  I loved this program, and thought it was well designed to be interesting to children and educational all at the same time.  The units included many different activities designed to appeal to different learning styles and encourage creativity.  I have been homeschooling for 15 years, and this is one of my favorite things that I have ever used, and I wish I had found it years ago!

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Writing with Sharon Watson – TOS Homeschool Crew Review

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I have always found writing to be one of the easier subjects to teach my kids – at least when it comes to standard school essays.  But my sixteen year old daughter doesn’t just want to write research reports for history, she wants to write a novel!  And creative writing is not something I know much about.  So I was excited to have the chance for my daughter to try out a creative writing product from Writing with Sharon Watson.

Writing Fiction [in High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life!Writing Fiction [in High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life!Writing Fiction [in High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life!

 

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Progeny Press Review–TOS Schoolhouse Crew

All my children enjoy reading, and one of the challenges I have homeschooling them is how to cover topics like literary analysis, because they;d rather just read the book!  It can be difficult to find something that teaches them to read analytically without destroying their interest in the story.  To me it makes sense to pick a few books a year to cover in detail, and let them just read for pleasure the rest of the time.  So I was happy to get the chance to review some literature guides from Progeny Press, which are designed just for that purpose.

The Golden Goblet Study GuideThe Golden Goblet Study GuideThe Golden Goblet Study GuideThings Fall Apart Study GuideThings Fall Apart Study GuideThings Fall Apart Study Guide

 

 photo 26018_10150154187290243_4120345_n_zpsd9393f12.jpgProgeny Press has over 100 literature guides, designed for all ages. I was able to review the Golden Goblet Study Guide, and the Things Fall Apart Study Guide with my children. I received the downloadable interactive PDF version of both products, which allows the student to type the answer right in the document.  My kids loved the interactive PDFs, and much preferred to type their answers into the document rather than write the answers down on paper.  And since both of them have lousy handwriting I liked it better for checking their answers too!  I loaded the interactive PDFs onto flash drives, so my kids could carry it around with them and work on them on any computer, wherever we happened to be.  This was very convenient, especially for my son, because we do a lot of our schooling on the go. The downloads also included answer keys, which was a big timesaver for me.

Supercharged Science – TOS Homeschool Crew Review

This past month I was able to review Supercharged Science, which is an online science program with over 800 activities, experiments and projects!  My family received a free membership for Supercharged Science E-Science program for high school, and I was very excited to review this program, because science is my favorite subject. I am always looking for ways to make science more fun and accessible to kids, and this program is designed for that.

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Computer Science for Kids – TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Computer programming is a skill that is great for everyone to learn.  Not everyone is meant to be a programmer, but computers are so important today that I think everyone should have some appreciation of how they work.  So I was glad to have my thirteen year old son try out a product from Computer Science for Kids.  

 photo ComputerScienceForKidsProgrammingTutorialsLogo_zps071e1e50.jpg Now computer programming is something my family has a fair bit of experience with.  My husband and I both have degrees in computer engineering, and my mother was a computer programmer way back in the late 1950s!  When my mom programmed she used machine language with “1”s and “0”s, but luckily there are much easier ways to program now.  My son got to try out programming in Basic, with the Beginning Microsoft Small Basic curriculum.  This is designed for children ages 10+ as an introduction to a simple, yet powerful programming language.

Essentials in Writing – TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Learning to write well is a critical skill for children to learn. I never had to worry too much about teaching my two oldest kids to write well, because they seemed to intuitively understand the process. I just gave them lots of writing assignments and they produced good essays without much angst.  The process with my 13 year old son however isn’t quite as easy.  His writing is ok, but he is very much a “just the facts” kind of person, and is having trouble making his writing interesting, compelling and organized.  I recently received a writing curriculum from Essentials in Writing to use with him and review.

Wordless Wednesday–Dry Ice Fun

I got some frozen fruit bars to review yesterday, and they came packed in dry ice.  So of course we had to have fun doing some science experiments with the dry ice!

Dry Ice Science Experiments

This Year’s 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

At Heart of the Matter is sponsoring a “Not Back-to-School” Blog Hop for all homeschoolers to join in and share what they are using this year.  We don’t start school until after Labor Day here in New York, so I still have quite a bit of time, which is good because I still have some stuff to plan and buy.  This year I just have my son homeschooling for 7th grade, since my oldest is off to college and my 15 year old wants to go to the local public school.  Since I’ve taught 7th grade before (twice) this should be pretty easy, and I shouldn’t need to buy any new curriculum, right?

7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Plans

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