Homeschool

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The Last of the Mohicans Study Guide from Progeny Press Review

Progeny Press ReviewClassic literature can be challenging to study with your kids, which is why I am glad there are study guides available to help.  I recently had the chance to have my son use a Progeny Press Guide, and chose to review the Last of the Mohicans Study Guide.

Progeny Press’s goal is to help children understand literature.  They are written from a Christian perspective, with an emphasis on Biblical values.  The guide I received is designed for children in grades 8-12.  My son is just finishing 9th grade, so he is right in the age range.  I received an e-guide, which retails for $21.99.  They also sell hard copies of the guides.

Progeny Press Review

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

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

Hands of a Child Review–TOS Homeschool Review

I am always looking for ways to add variety to our homeschooling, and keep learning fun.  I recently had the chance to review a Note Pack from In the Hands of a Child.  This company specializes in creating lap books and notebook project packs, mainly for homeschoolers.  These can provide hands on learning, which most children love.

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My son has never much cared for lap books, and now that he is 14 he finds the cutting and pasting they involve tedious.  So I was interested to see that In the Hands of a Child now offers Note Packs, which are designed for older kids.  These encourage children to make a record or portfolio of what they have learned.  The pages include graphic organizers and writing prompts, and can all be collected in a three ring binder when they are finished.

Homeschool Programming TeenCoder Java Review

My 14 year old son has learned some computer programming over the past two years, and written programs in Basic.  Now that he is starting high school it makes sense for him to learn a higher level programming language and improve his skills.  So when I had the chance to review a programming course from Homeschool Programming as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I figured it was great timing for him.

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Homeschool Programming has computer courses for children from 4th grade and up.  There are two high school level courses, one for learning programming in C# and one for learning programming in Java.  After some research I decided that either language would be good, and I ended up receiving the TeenCoder Java Series for my son.

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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Classisical Conversations Prescripts Handwriting Curriculum Review

One of the things I realized during the past school year is that my son has terrible handwriting for a 14 year old.  Sometimes he can’t even read his own writing, and with high school starting next year he needs to be able to read what he writes, and so do others.  I realized this is a part of homeschooling I neglected, and set out to remediate it. So the chance to review a handwriting book designed for older children from Classical Conversations was a perfect opportunity for us.Logo photo classicalconversationslogo_zps461acbc8.jpg

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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Home School in the Woods History Lap-Pak Review – TOS Homeschool Crew

History is my son’s favorite subject in school.  But this year we haven’t really done any history at all because he has been doing a year long geography program. So when I had the chance to review a Lap-Pak program from Home School in the Woods I knew he’d be excited to actually do some history.  The program we received to use is Hands-On History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America.

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This Lap-Pak is a downloadable pdf file that comes with 22 projects on all kinds of subjects related to 20th Century history.  Some are the standard things you would expect, like World Wars, Political Events and the Space Race.  But it also includes projects on things that frequently are overlooked in history study, like Architecture, Slang, and even “Dining Through the Decades”  Each project has a hands on activity to complete, to help cement the information in your child’s mind.

Writing with Sharon Watson – TOS Homeschool Crew Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

Discovery of Deduction Logic Curriculum Review

Logic is a subject that I have always wanted to cover with my children, because thinking and reasoning skills are so important in today’s world.   I watch TV news shows and get so annoyed at the lack of reasoning and logical fallacies that seem to be everywhere, so I want to learn to reason!  So I was glad to get the chance to try out a logic curriculum from Classical Academic Press.  I received The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic and The Discovery of Deduction Teacher’s Edition to use with my 13 year old son.

My son has been using a different curriculum to study informal logic this year, but I thought it was the perfect time to take things further and add in some formal logic studies.  This curriculum is designed to teach students how an argument is put together and structured.

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.

Box of I.D.E.A.S.–Salt – TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Box of I.D.E.A.S. is a company dedicated to providing interactive unit studies for homeschooling families.  I don’t use unit studies in my homeschooling very often, especially now that my children are teenagers, so this was something different for us.  We received a product organized around the theme of Salt, and had a blast exploring the many ways salt has influenced the world and shaped history.  The box had activities on history, geography, science, language, political systems and more.  Salt is something that we use every day, but rarely think about, and it was interesting to see how many different directions this one idea took us in!