Review of The Story of the 13 Colonies & The Great Republic Set from Memoria Press and 200 Questions about American History
Memoria Press is one of my favorite publishers, so I couldn't wait to explore The Story of the 13 Colonies & The Great Republic Set and 200 Questions about American History they sent me to review.
I didn't realize how much was in the set for teaching American History to fifth through eighth graders. The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and The Great Republic is the textbook with an accompanying Student Guide and Teacher Guide. There is also another set: 200 Questions about American History Student and the accompanying Teacher Guide. Both student guides are consumable, but you can use the teacher guides over and over again.
The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and The Great Republic are classic books combined in one volume. Written by H. A. Guerber in 1899 and edited by Meoria Press, this book moves quickly from the landing of vikings in Newfoundland to the Spanish-American War.
Each chapter is short and full of information. The writing is clear and concise.
Now, I have been teaching American History to my children and in homeschool co-ops since 1991. Plus I read all kinds of American history resources biographies, living books, and textbooks for fun. I honestly didn't expect to learn anything when I sat down to read the entire book. I was pleasantly shocked to learn little details I never knew before such as:
Now, that may seem boring to you, but I was super-excited to learn these little details.
We set up our homeschooling plan to follow the suggestions by Memoria Press.
Life with Dog is a family movie from Mill Creek Entertainment.
Corbin Bernsen does an amazing job portraying a bitter man who has lost his wife to a hit and run accident.
I was impressed with Corbin Bernsen's acting in the movie and then found out that he wrote, directed, and helped produce the movie! My family enjoys watching him in old Psych television reruns where he plays Shaun's father.
Anyway, back to the movie. Joe Bigler, the main character, is struggling with depression after his wife dies unexpectedly. He is determined to find the driver of the truck that hit his wife. His temper gets the best of him in several scenes and he ends up being hauled off to jail twice. Still, you have compassion for this angry man who has lost the love of his life.
The movie was excellent as far as acting, settings, scenes, and camera angels. It was very professional.
I watched it with two adult children and two younger children. Let me be honest. It was a sad movie. I kept waiting for it to get bright and sunny, as did the younger children.
However, Life with Dog is an amazing look at grief and how it turns you inside out. He has conversations with his dead wife and I explained to the children that it's hard to realize your spouse is gone so widows and widowers often continue to talk to their spouse after they die. In fact, it reminded me of a time after my momma died and I was waiting for Daddy to wake up from a nap. He called for Mom! I sobbed like a baby. My sorrow mingled with his. Watching this movie brought back sad memories for me, but I'm glad I saw the movie.
It reminded me of the process of grief and was an honest look at the process of grief.
It was also an honest look at those who have no hope in Jesus. Joe Bigler doesn't believe in Jesus even though his wife was a devoted Christian. His daughter has found faith in Christ, too and tries to share that faith with Joe in the movie. She even sends her pastor to see him.
I was so excited when my Hey Mama! Homeschool Planner for the 2019/2020 Year by Gene Suerez arrived from The Old Schoolhouse(R)!
I love planners and this planner has it all. From transcripts to attendance records, from goal sheets to curriculum lists, and from calendars to devotionals from Gena.
We can all use help getting organized! However, some planners are so big, they seem overwhelming. My first homeschool planner was a 4" thick notebook with tons of pages and sections. I could barely lift it. When I saw the Hey Mama! 2019-2020 Schoolhouse Planner, I thought, "Oh, no, it's so thin and light--what did they leave out?"
I'm happy to report that nothing was left out!
We have planning pages galore!
It opens with directions on writing a transcript followed by a transcript page and skills and courses checklist.
The next section is calendar section which opens with 3 one page year calendars: 2019, 2020, and 2021. This is followed by a terrific section: a room for monthly notes (e.g. "July 2019 Notes"), a full 2 page calendar (e.g. July 2019 calendar on 2 pages). This section covers July 2019 to July 2020.
The next section is a series of 2-page weekly calendars with sections for each child. Wow! I love this section! This is the longest section of the planner which will be the most helpful to me.
The child section follows where there is a section for each child with a page for notes, another page for curriculum planning, an attendance sheet, a books read list, yearly goals page, first semester page, and second semester goals. This is my FAVORITE SECTION because I am a big-picture person and I love to make big-picture goals.
There is another thing in the planner that is my FAVORITE THING! I love all the blogs from Gena! She writes weekly in the Homeschool with Heart Blog where I find myself challenged, inspired, relieved, and encouraged. To find her practical encouragement sprinkled throughout the planner is such a blessing! Wow! I am so excited!
Since this planner has everything I need, but isn't too heavy to carry around, I plan on using it all year long. It's just perfect for me. It would be just perfect for you, too.
I was intrigued by the title John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress with 525 Illustrations Spanning 250 Years compiled by Laura Bluedorn available from Trivium Pursuit.
As I browsed through one of my favorite stories, I found myself delighted. It seemed that Laurie Bluedorn gathered every picture painted of scenes in Pilgrim's Progress.
Everyone should read Pilgrim's Progress at least once, if not several times.
This copy is a true treasure, like nothing I've ever seen before. With 605 pages, you will feel like you are in an art museum devoted to John Bunyan. I was blown away by all the different styles of artwork in the book. I couldn't stop browsing through the book.
Not only do I LOVE the book, but I found an awesome blog on Trivium Pursuit that helps parents to teach Pilgrim's Progress to their children. You can read the blog here.
Are you ready to hear about Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism, K-3 Vol. 5 from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc.?
I'm so excited to tell you about this beautifully illustrated easy-to-use homeschool art curriculum with a focus on monoprint and relief printmaking methods, watercolor, and charcoal. We used the book and the DVD.
This volume, and the rest of the set, is a wonderful way to introduce young children to the wonderful world of fine art!
We had an amazing time with this book on Northern Artists. We looked at Bruegel, Durer, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Millet, and more. I love these artists!
We tackled printing assignments and charcoal assignments.
My grandson is 4 years old and he was glued to the DVD for every lesson we watched. He was fascinated and remember the directions clearly. Of course, I love the way, Brenda reviews the lesson briefly, but thoroughly at the end of the lesson.
Both printing with ink and charcoal can get messy, so we covered the working area with newspapers. This worked perfectly.
I will tell you about our charcoal lesson. I worked with my grandson Rusty and two friends ages 16 and 12. My grandson is four.
I was so excited to receive a digital subscription to CrossWired Science, a homeschool online science curriculum for homeschool families, Sound, and Fluid Dynamics.
I was give a choice between two global topics: Sound and Fluid Dynamics and I chose Fluid Dynamics and boy was I in for a surprise. We were having so much fun that I didn't realize we were learning so much. I say we because I learned so much, too.
Now, I had two strikes against me going into this review. One, I am not a techie person and two, I had to leave two quite often during this review and stayed in places where we didn't have internet.
The first strike didn't matter. This online science curriculum was so easy to use. Even I could figure it out. Secondly, though I would have liked to progress forward using the program every day, we had to do it in spurts. That was fine because whenever we finished a video and took the short quiz, we wanted to see another one!
The videos were highly entertaining and fast-paced. Information was shared in an easy-to-understand way that just made sense. And it was fascinating stuff. We learned about sinuses, airplanes, birds, why dogs drool and cats sip, hummingbirds, carburetors, box fish, and penguins. We read books, tried experiments, and went on field trips. What fun! There were constant reminders that God is our Creator!
But while we were having fun, we were learning about aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, Daniel Bernoulli, Bernoulli's Principle, Vortices, turbulent and laminar flow, Orville and Wilbur Wright, fin types, swim patterns, bird feathers, insect flight, dolphin hydrodynamics, kingfisher hydrodynamics, penguin hydrodynamics, how animals drink, caves, Mt. St. Helen, air foils, and so much more. It was amazing!
A book from YWAM Publishing? I was so excited to get to read Heroes of History: Douglas MacArthur What Greater Honor by Janet & Geoff Benge. As all their books are, this was such a fun read.
YWAM Publishing has two series that I am trying to collect: Christian Heroes:Then and Now and Heroes of History. This biography is part of the Heroes of History series.
I have always wanted to learn more about Douglas MacArthur and I was so excited to read this biography, What a fascinating life!
Douglas' father Arthur MacArthur was a highly decorated military man who had been thrilled to meet Abraham Lincoln as a young man. His mother Pinky reminded him every night, "You must grow up to be a great man like Robert E. Lee." Interesting that God brought his parents together from opposite sides of the Civil War to raise a man that would live honorably in peace and in war.
Douglas grew up in the late 1800s riding horses, moving place to place wherever his father was stationed, and eventually ending up at West Point. His momma moved to be close to him for the four years he attended West Point and when he graduated, he left the podium to embrace both his mother and father. His love for his parents was deep and demonstrated by the inner call he felt to live up to the heritage his father had left him.
I was fascinated by his love and concern for the people around him throughout his life. He had tremendous wisdom, especially in dealing with the Japanese people when he occupied Japan.
When I finished the book, I was satisfied. It more than met my expectations. I learned more about World War I, World War II, and the Japanese occupation than I even imagined. As a history lover, this book will have a place on honor on my bookshelf!
Being very impressed with Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), I was excited to review Fix-It! Grammar Book 1: The Nose Tree from IEW. Since I have never used IEW's grammar program, I elected to start with the first book in the series.
What a delightful way to learn grammar!
As you do your grammar lesson, an enchanting tale about three down-and-out soldiers unfolds. The story contains a dwarf, magic, a crafty princess, and apples that make noses grown long.
As we worked through the lessons, we were immediately intrigued by the story and it was a great motivation to complete each lesson since more of the story would unfold.
Just as I appreciated IEW's writing curriculum, I was thoroughly impressed with their grammar curriculum.
I received the Teacher's Manual and the Student Workbook to review. The Teacher's Manual includes a download link for the Student Workbook E-book so you can just buy the Teacher's Manual and print out any pages that you need. That's a great bargain for big families.
I could probably use the student workbook without the teacher's manual because the directions were so clear, but, of course, the teacher's manual includes the answers and clear teaching instructions, as well as the student workbook E-book. So, purchasing the Teacher's Manual is definitely a wise choice!
Memoria Press is a favorite in our home school so I was thrilled to review Prima Latina, a Latin curriculum for primary grades. We enjoyed Latina Christiana over the years, so I was excited to see the course we missed because Prima Latina is the prequel to Latina Christiana.
The kit I received had a teacher's manual, DVD to watch, Audio CD to listen to pronunciation, study cards, and the student workbook.
It has been several years since I've taught Latin, so I pulled out the teacher's manual to get started. It was so helpful to read the beginning and as I read, I remembered a lot from the past.
One thing that helped was to know the goals of the course. I will share them with you.
1. Learn basic Latin alphabet and ponunciation of vowels and consonant sounds
2. Pronounce, spell, and translate 125 Latin words
3. Learn 25 practical Latin expressions and 4 prayers
4. Learn numbers 1 to 10
5. Learn names of constellations derived from Latin
6. Understand concepts of derivatives (English words we get from Latin roots)
7. Grammar (parts of speech, conjugating, declining, 1st declension noun endings, 1st declension verb endings)
Now, I was ready to begin and teach confidently.
For each lesson, we followed the same pattern. We listened to the CD and said the words along with the CD. Then we watched the video lesson, followed by the workbook pages. We checked the workbook pages together. In between lessons, the cards were used for memorizing.
After every five lessons, there was a review.
My favorite part of the lesson was the DVD. The class was taught for me. I learned right along with the teacher!
I found this material easy to teach, easy for the children to learn, and though it's meant for primary grades, I would use it for older kids, too. It would be a great way to teach the entire family Latin. We really enjoyed it!
Drive Thru History (R) is a favorite at our house, so we were all excited to watch Drive Thru History (R) "Acts to Revelation". Wow! Another amazing video series that takes us back in time to the days of Acts and Revelation from The Bible.
The DVD set includes 18 episodes (30 minutes each) for an amazing homeschool Bible curriculum or homeschool history curriculum. We are using it now for Bible, but later I will use it when we study Ancient History.
Here are the Episodes
1. The Gospel Shared at Pentecost
2. The Church Grows in Jerusalem
3. The Gospel Spreads to the Gentiles
4. Saul of Tarsus and the Road to Damascus
5. Paul's First Missionary Journey: The Island of Cyprus
6. The Journey Continues: Pamphylia, Galatia, & Asia Minor
7. The Jerusalem Council & Paul's Second Missionary Journey
8. The Second Journey Continues: Philippi & Thessolonica
9. A Road Trip to Athens
10. Ancient Corinth
11. Paul's Third Missionary Journey: Ephesus
12. Paul's Final Trip to Jerusalem & Cesarea
13. Adventures at Sea: The Island of Malta
14. A Final Journey to Rome
15. The Martyrdom of Paul & Peter
16. John and the Island of Patmos
17. The Seven Churches of Revelation
18. The Book Closes on the New Testament Period
First of all, the DVD set and Study Guide are beautiful. They come inside a package that looks like a book. The photos in the study guide are clear, gorgeous, and glossy like a coffee table book. I am just excited to own this so I can take it out and look at it.
Victoria lives in London with her Mum and Dad. Her Mum is Brazilian. Victoria goes to Brazil with her Mom to visit her family.
Mum and Victoria fly into San Paulo and travel to the Parana State where all Mum's relatives live.
Victoria travels from place to place meeting cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, a great-grandmother, and old friends of her Mum. There is great variety in the places she visits from a coffee farm to Itu where everything is REALLY BIG! Victoria sees micro monkeys, parakeets, fishing boats, churches, capybara (giant guinea pigs), casava flour, fruit trees, flowers, and watermelon juice.
The book uses bright, cheery photographs to illustrate Victoria's story of visiting her family in Brazil. I love the photos. They are amazing! They give a realistic picture to readers of family life in Brazil, but they also appeal to children with the bright colors, children, family love, and cute little animals. It really is like looking at someone's scrapbook.
I love to use picture books to teach geography to little ones. Victoria goes to Brazil would be enjoyed by children from ages 4 to 8, but it would also be a fun family read to kick off your geography studies in South America. Children will be introduced to a specific region in Brazil and you can see where it is on the map page. In addition, they will learn about industries, animals, plants, landforms, food, and culture.
Review of Victus Study Skill System's Teacher Edition, Student Workbook Elementary, and Student Workbook College
"Interesting," I thought unpacking the box with a Victus Study Skills System Teacher Edition, Student Workbook, Student Workbook Elementary, and Student Workbook College from Victus Study Skills System. "Oh, wow! They included a Student Planner, a Student Workbook Primary Grades, Teacher Supplement Elementary, and Teacher Supplement Primary. There is so much here!"
As I leafed through all the material from Victus Study Skills System, I realized that it all dove-tailed perfectly so that all ages could learn the same things at the same time! I love that! These study skills workbooks and lessons are perfect for those who want their children to grow in test taking, organization, scheduling, and other good learning habits.
Knowing that, I thought of a family that I have been mentoring. Each of the children are very smart, but struggle to complete schoolwork, wake up early, and do well on tests. The family likes to stay up late and everyone gets easily distracted. I have shared many of the things in this system, but never in a systemic way. And I hadn't shared all of it.
I showed the parents the materials I had received and asked if they would like to explore the first and second lesson with me. They have children ranging from 10 years old in elementary to a college student. It took awhile to juggle all of our schedules, but we finally met for our first session to cover Lesson one and two. I used the Teachers Edition to teach and handed out the various workbooks to appropriate family members. I also made a copy of the learning styles assessment for each of the seven family members.
When they arrived, we sat down in the family room and started by talking about where we are and where we want to be in five years. Everyone shared. Then I explained, directly from the Teachers edition that each scenario needed the "study skills" in this system. After all these are more than study skills, they are life skills that will be used in the future by homemakers, grad students, and in any career where a person wants to advance.
"Can you read me this book, Grand-Merey?" my almost-four year old grandson asked, handing me The Great Escape (Book #3) from WorthyKids, an Imprint of Hatchette Book Group. It had just arrived in a package along with Journey to Jericho (Book #4) from the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series.
I was so excited that he was interested in listening to the book read aloud because I pegged the reading level about first through third grade.
He will probably lose interest, I thought, sitting down and reading the first chapter.
Nope! My voice gave out and two other volunteers took over one after the other. He wanted to finish the whole book!
He loved the book and wanted to hear Journey to Jericho next. Wow! I was excited!
So my little four-year-old grandson who is just learning to read thoroughly enjoyed hearing these books. He thought the story was quite exciting and his favorite character was Michael, the angel because he was "kind and good. Oh, and he rescued good people."
He's not the only one who likes the book. I have a waiting list of young friends who want to borrow the books.
Let me tell you about the third book in the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series called The Great Escape.
I invited my friend Mikilana and her children ages 10 to 18 to listen to For The Temple from Heirloom Audio. We had a blast listening to this Christian audio drama!
We listened to both CDs back to back without interruption. It was an exciting radio theater experience with excellent acting, realistic sound effects, and an engaging story that kept us interested.
After we listened to For the Temple, I asked my friends what they thought.
First of all, we all agreed that it was a great story, but a very sad time in history. After all, when Jesus prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem, He wept.
Peter found the audio drama Interesting, especially looking at each perspective: the Romans and the Jews.
Hallel liked the narrator's voice because he was very expressive and pleasant to listen to. He also found the story a little confusing. However, the history itself during that time is quite confusing.
Gracie loved it and thought the story was very exciting.
Victoria described it as "Action-packed, historically informative, and able to draw me into the story."
Hosanna agreed with Hallel. She thought the radio theater audio showed an Interesting perspective. She said, "I never really thought of it in both ways—seeing from both a Roman and Jewish perspective."
As mothers, Mikilana and I both appreciated the Christian message and wholesomeness of the story. We both have purchased many of GA Henty's books so were excited to hear another one of his story dramatized.
I love SchoolhouseTeachers.com which makes me so excited to review the Ultimate Annual Yearly Membership where I can use online courses and electives to my heart's delight. You can download so many courses at SchoohouseTeachers.com, storing them on your computer or just printing as you go. There are also online courses where your children can access the course and teacher on your computer, laptop, or phone. Students are able to go at their own pace. Oh, and did I mention, one family membership includes everyone! That's such a huge savings on curriculum.
At first I felt overwhelmed by all the choices. Should I go to High School Homeschool Courses? Or Elementary Homeschool Courses? Or check out the Middle School Homeschool Courses? Or do I need Homeschool Parent Support?
Where did I go first?
To Preschool Playground of course. After all, I'm a grandmother.
With over 400 options available from preschool to high school and new courses added regularly, I find myself spending hours browsing. It's like being in a homeschool curriculum store. EXCEPT--I can use any curriculum I want to at no extra expense. Wow!
We enjoyed Preventing and Responding to Emergencies, a course for 5th-6th graders teaching them practical ways to help out in emergency situations. Created by homeschool mom Jenny Underwood, there are nine lessons. With practical explanations and instructions, she teaches how to respond to cuts, snake bites, spider bites, hypothermia, broken bones, muscle sprains, poisoning, electric shock, drowning, heat exhaustion, burns, and frostbite. My favorite part was putting together the first aid kit.