Archive for November, 2010

Nov
22

My First Bright Idea

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One would think, that having homeschooled my children for as many years as I have I would have already met Bright Ideas Press, but the truth is that our acquaintance is quite new.

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse homeschool crew, I was recently given the opportunity to use and review A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers, written by Melissa E. Craig and Maggie S. Hogan, and published by Bright Ideas Press.

This is set up as a full year’s curriculum in 32 lessons.  It is likely, we will stretch it into 2 year’s.  Our house is a Kindergarten-to adult house.  We are using A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers at a more relaxed pace, because we are using it as a family course and including everyone.  This tends to lead to longer discussions about each composer, his life and music.  It is designed for 4th through 8th grades, but all of us have learned something and want to continue this study.

…Composers, begins with ancient music, moves through the Middle Ages and The Renaissance, then flows into Classical and Modern music.  The authors cover composers and their music from The Baroque Period, The Classical Period, The Romantic Period and The Contemporary Period.  26 biographies in all, including the life and times of each composer, from a Christian perspective, as well as appreciation of their music.

There is nearly no teacher prep time and, since I never seem to have enough time in a day, I appreciate the thoroughness of the authors.  The only thing not included to complete this study, is the music, but Craig and Hogan have compiled a section of Listening Suggestions with YouTube links that correlate with each composer.  Our local library offered many of the suggested selections, too.

You can view sample pages before you decide to purchase this curriculum.  I can recommend this investment.  $29.95 for the book on CD-Rom or $34.95 for a 298 page paperback.  I chose the paperback.  I still favor holding a real book in my hands.  I did take my nicely bound book to a local printer and had it gently taken apart, and hole-punched.  Personally, I would still choose the paperback over the CD-Rom, but I found it inconvenient to copy the student pages from the bound book.  I now have easy access, from a three-ring binder, to the note taking and student review pages, time lines & maps, games and detailed coloring sheets.

If you’re still not convinced to look at this curriculum, consider this –

Why even teach an appreciation of Classical music in this age?  The website lists these reasons:

  • Music is from the Lord. He created it, and He created us with the ability to both make and appreciate music.
  • Classical music is uniquely part of our Western civilization.
  • Research suggests that both listening to and playing classical music aids brain development.
  • Even rudimentary exposure increases one’s level of enjoyment and understanding.

Bright Ideas Press is also the publisher of Illuminations, The Mystery of History (World) volumes 1-3, All American History volumes 1&2, and Christian Kids Explore (Chemistry, Physics, Earth & Space; Biology); Hands-on Geography.  These are covered in review by my TOS crew mates.

Contact:                                                          

Bright Ideas Press

P.O. Box 333

Cheswold, DE  19936

1-877-492-8081

or

brightideaspress.com

Blessings,

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


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Nov
19

KBTeachers

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Busy minds and hands tend to stay out of mischief.  Granted, I am not one for busy work, just for the sake of being busy, but…  I appreciate being able to give one of my children a work sheet to occupy and sometimes even stretch their mind, while I’m helping another with a problem.

KBTeachers has been offering free and premium worksheets, activities and printable pages since 1998.  Founded by Christophe Popper, it was originally Knowledge Bears.  They have accumulated more than 10,000 pages; yet, if they don’t already have what you need, they will create it or at the least, help you find it.

ABC worksheets, to 20 page exams.”  The team at KBTeachers is not sitting back and resting on their laurels.  Though, they also developed KBears, 2006 Finalist of

They strive to improve and update regularly, giving you a myriad of options.  Categories include:

For This Season

  • Thanksgiving
  • Fall Themed Activities
  • November Webquests

English Language

  • Alphabet Factory
  • Learning Cursive
  • Grammar Writing

Math Activities

  • Math with Images
  • Counting Money
  • Addition Worksheets
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication Makers
  • Division Practice
  • Telling Time
  • Themed Math
  • Classic Math

Science Workbooks

  • Astronomy Activities
  • Geology Workbooks
  • Weather & Climate

Biology Worksheets

  • Human anatomy
  • Nutrition Worksheets
  • Marine Biology
  • Plants & Microbiology

Social Studies

  • Workbooks & Maps

More Activites

  • Dino Workbooks
  • The Four Seasons
  • Visual Arts and Crafts
  • Free Clip Art
  • Mixed Basic Skills

You can view every page and have unlimited access with a 10 day Free Trial.  Just $29.00 for a 1 year membership, after your trial period, or the better offer of $49.00 for 2 years.  If you are not completely satisfied, after 30 days, you are guaranteed your money back.

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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Nov
10

The Write Foundation, The Right Fundament

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The Write Foundation writing curriculum was developed by Rebecca Celsor.  It was originally written for a co-op setting, but can be adapted to individualized instruction.

The Write Foundation begins with the writing process, how a student formulates a topic, then a thesis, then supporting points, and by incremental teaching drills in the basics.”

The curriculum guides the teacher through steps, to teach writing.  Step upon step; concept upon concept, building on the fundamentals.

Complete Lesson Plans

Easy-To-Use Format

Organization for Writing

Checklists & Guidelines

Brainstorm & Outline Forms

“It can easily be utilized for average writers, as well as adapted for reluctant writers or the student who loves and excels in writing.”

It is recommended that Mind Benders, by The Critical Thinking Press, be used in conjunction with this program.

Rebecca Celsor has written three levels of curriculum.  Choosing the best level depends on the student’s capabilities, experience and desire.  For placement assistance or questions, contact ~ Rebecca Celsor:  coloratura@sbcglobal.net or call 281-356-3556.

Level 1:  Sentence to Paragraph Writing suggested ages, 11-13

Level 2:  Paragraph Writing suggested ages, 12-15

Level 3:  Essay Writing suggested ages, 14-17

Curriculum packages include – Complete lessons 1-30, with spiral-bound teacher instruction manual, and additional resources CD, for $100.00.  Other options are also available.  Grading and Tutoring is $15.00 per lesson.  Find everything you need on the Order Information page.

The Write Foundation gave me the first 15 lessons of Paragraph Writing to use for this review.  We found the rhythm of the lessons easy enough to establish and follow.  Once memorized, the checklists will be recalled time and again.  This curriculum had a positive influence on my children’s writing process, grammar and even their spelling.

Sample lessons are available, as well as reviews of this product by my crew mates.

Blessings,

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


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