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.
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.
Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan would make a great gift for any Christian girl on your list. These devotions for young women will help them grow in their faith and learn the truth about what Christianity teaches about womanhood.
As the mother of four daughters, I am concerned that young women know what God created them to be and how to walk in all He has for them. I don't want them to embrace the world's ways, but I don't want them to live beneath their potential.
I believe God loves women! I believe that the call on our lives to glorify God as women is just as important as God's call to men and that if we fail to embrace it, the world be suffer and ache.
This devotional book speaks to the heart of young women to commend them, inspire them, and urge them to live lives worthy of the calling they have received from Jesus.
My daughter and I each went through the devotional on our own. I started at the beginning and she started in the middle of the book. One day at a time, we made our way through the book. After a few weeks, we sat down to talk about it. We agreed it would be a wonderful gift for a new believer, as well as a teenager.
Each devotion starts with a verse followed by an inspirational application of the verse to daily life. There are a few lines at the bottom for journaling.
One of my favorite days was Day 18. The verse was Genesis 7:7: "And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood." The devotion goes on to ask whether we ever feel like we're drowning or overwhelmed with life's pressures. Yes! my heart cried out. I can feel that way. The devotion went on to call us to the shelter and safety of Jesus. Yes! my heart cried out again.
Yes, this book is written for young women ages 13 to 18, but as all of us (who are all over 18 and me by quite a lot) found out: this book works for women of any age. There are timeless truths that minister to those issues that hit us at every age and season in life.
Though my diaper days are over, I was thrilled to review "Balancing Diapers & Deadlines" from Lisa Tanner Writing.
Well, I'm glad you asked.
I started up a business when my youngest was in middle school and I wish I had gone through this course, first. You see, my children didn't understand what I was doing or why. I had a hard time and went years without accomplishing anything for my business.
As I finished up the first lesson, I said, "Why oh why didn't I do that?" Lisa shared three ways to get your family on board in the beginning: explain the changes that will take place, share the reasons why you are starting a business, and talk about your business. Instead, in my house, my children were resentful so I didn't put time into the business or ever talk about it with them. Big mistake!
Next, Lisa shared about creating flexible routines. Another "Wow! Why didn't I do it the way she suggests moment!" She even shares how to teach your children to be flexible. By this point in the course, I was so impressed!
We enjoyed joining the Brinkman Adventures when we listened to Season 6: Underground Rising.
Before I tell you all about Season 6, I want to give you some background information on me. You see, I am a real Corrie ten Boom fan. She was a true hero during World War II, hiding Jews and working with the Dutch Resistance.
Knowing this about me, you have to realize that I was absolutely thrilled that the topic was the Dutch Resistance during World War II.
Let me make a few things clear about Brinkman Adventures Season 6: the acting is awesome, the screen writing is excellent, and the story catches you up into the excitement of World War II.
My favorite part was the way the story started with the children visiting their grandmother. She begins to tell the story of her brave husband, her courageous friends, and herself fighting the Nazis during World War II. Every once in awhile she reappears in the story to make a comment or explain something more clearly. This made the story so much more personal.
This radio show is based on a true story. In fact, I was so excited to see on the Real Stories pages of the website supplemental information on each episode. We saw photos of Reng and Lynn VanKesteren and learned more about the main characters in the radio episode. I love the picture and saved the link so I can listen to a podcast with the couple later. How exciting!
The Real Stories page also contained a recipe for oliebollen, or Dutch doughnuts. For each of the other episodes 56-60, there is information and a link to a podcast to listen to.
In fact, I found the podcast page on the Brinkman Adventures website. Lots of great podcasts to listen to. You can listen to them here.
CashCrunch Careers from CashCrunch Games helps people of all ages answer the question, "What do you want to do when you grow up?' Choosing a vocation and career can be a scary, overwhelming process.
One thing I loved about the website was the information on the Careers webpage about various careers. They list 17 different career segments (like Architecture & Construction, Education & Training, Finance, or Health Science). You can click on any of the career areas to learn more about all the different careers to choose from. There is a wealth of information on this website about careers.
CashCrunch also has free games you can play on their site. These games help middle school and high school students learn more about managing money. You can play them here.
I was very excited to be able to take a carer survey from CashCrunch Careers. In addition, my daughter Shine and my young friend Marielle took the career surveys.
When I took the career survey, the results gave me a wide variety of fields to choose from including human resources manager, education administration elementary and secondary, education administration post-secondary, cost estimator, lodging manager, and public relations managers. I had to laugh because they all describe the different hats I wear as a homeschooling mom, pastor's wife, and homemaker.
There is also a video that explains the survey and results to help you better understand your survey results. That was helpful.
Impressive! That's the word that came to my mind the first time I saw the Printable Books of the Bible Summary Sheets from Teach Sunday School. What a great way to teach our children the Books of the Bible at home or in Sunday School at church.
Okay, there is so much information at your fingertips with these Bible at a Glance printables. They are packed with information.
I love these sheets because they are a great resource for Bible teachers of any kind--Sunday school teachers, homeshcool moms, Bible study leaders, or pastors.
I printed mine and have them in a notebook for reference. So, here is the way I will use them in my Bible teaching. When I start a new book of the Bible, I will pass out a copy of these sheets to my children and we will go over the basic facts together that are on the sheet.
For the review, we each grabbed a sheet based on what we are studying in our Quiet Times and read it over. We all agreed that it made a significant difference in understanding the book we were studying.
God's Timing was perfect. Forensic Faith For Kids from David C Cook and Case Makers Academy came in the mail at just the right time.
You see, we are studying apologetics in our homeschool co-op and one girl was interested in taking the course, but the reading was just too hard.
I was so excited to tell her about the book and asked her if she wanted to read a chapter to see if she liked it.
She said down and read a chapter. And kept reading. She loved it!
When she left, she wanted to take it with her, but I told her I still had to review it myself.
A few days later, I sat down to review the book and couldn't stop reading. It was enchanting, delightful, and engaging. Okay, I love mysteries whether cozy mysteries for grown-ups or easy reading mysteries for kids.
I loved the people in the story. I love how they handled weaving in apologetics and I loved the little Corgi. Yes, I'm just a kid at heart. But, I'm also a pastor's wife with a deep desire to see children walk confidently in their faith. Forensic Faith For Kids is a great way to teach children the whys behind their faith.
We were so excited to get Heirloom Audio's newest G.A. Henty adventure, St. Bartholomew's Eve, and it did not disappoint.
I invited my young friends Hallel 17, Hosanna 16, Victoria 15, Peter 13, and Grace 11 to listen with me.
We all sat in my family room for over two hours listening. All of us were attentive because we wanted to know what happened next. Between CDs, we grabbed food and then popped the second one in.
Why were we so fully engaged.
This radio drama was excellent in every way. The acting, sound effects, and story line were amazing! We were drawn to the characters and cried when we lost some friends in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. There was depth to the characters and surprises in the plot.
This is a tragic, yet heroic tale from history. What a privilege to listen to radio theater together so we could really understand the events leading up to the tragic event.
"I loved it!" each child responded enthusiastically when we discussed it afterward. This radio drama was full of action and adventure, along with virtuous characters who honor Christ. Plus bad guys. How could we not love it!
Discussion that Followed the Audio
"What a beautiful book!" I said aloud as I pulled Alaska By The Way by Joy Budensiek from By The Way out of the brown package. Usually I put a new book in the review pile, but it was so pretty and it was a travel book, so I had to sit down and look through this lovely book from the By The Way Book Series. After looking at all the beautiful photographs and illustrations, I read the whole book in one sitting. I loved it!
Deciding it was too old to read to my three-year-old grandson, I put it aside. However, he found it and after flipping through the pages, asked me to read it to him. He stayed attentive and interested through the whole book. Several people read it (adults, older children, younger children) and every one agreed it was an awesome book.
Why was Alaska By The Way so amazing?
We get to join a family on their trip to Alaska. We join them on the ferry, visit coastal villages, and explore the world inside the Arctic Circle. We learn about Alaska history, culture, geography, and wildlife. The family visits cities and villages while enjoying the lovely scenery along the way, as well as the wildlife.
Since I love to travel, I was fascinated by the book and the children's adventures in the untamed Arctic land of Alaska.