Archive for November, 2011

Nov
28

Time Well Spent

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I am especially fond of playing games with my children that teach more than just good sportsmanship or cooperation.  I appreciate games like Scrabble, Boggle, Bible Trivia, and chess, more than Sorry or Parcheesi.  I’m all for fun, but time is valuable, so why not combine fun and learning to make the most of it, right?

If your child is not yet reading, or could use some sight-word reinforcement, I have the perfect game for you!  The Reading Game.

 

 

Designed for children ages 4 and up, it requires two players – the student and a tutor.  It is a fast paced memory game, it’s FUN, and the results are quick and encouraging!

Basically, it consists of 6 story books, illustrated in black and white sketches, and six color-coded decks of cards.  You begin with the cards.  There are 6 games per deck, introducing 5 new words per game or 30 words per deck.  The players match the words, and while doing so, the student-player learns to recognize and master them.

 

This video might give you a better idea of how it works –

 

When all of the words in a deck are learned, all through game play, the corresponding color book can be read.  The stories are well-written, they seem like “big-kid” stories.  The feeling of accomplishment by the reader is palpable!

 

 

 

When the first book, Skunk, is read, it means that 30 new words have been mastered, and 30 more, when the second book, Snake, is read, and so on, through all six books, until your child has a reading vocabulary of 180 words!  22 of the 25 most commonly used English words and 42 out of the top 50.  It’s no wonder children and parents get excited to play this game.

The Reading Game is a well researched, supplemental reading program, that promotes long term retention of words.  It is serious FUN!  It’s $24.95, and time, well spent!

 

For more information, follow the links I’ve provided to the website.

Questions or Comments – emailinfo@thereadinggame.com

call 858.412.3442

or

write Allsaid & Dunn

2727 De Anza Rd., Suite SD21

San Diego, CA  92109


Read other informed reviews of this product by clicking on the graphic below.

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.

Thank you for your comments. 

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Nov
21

Read Naturally

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Thank you, to Candyce & Tom Ihnot for their extensive work in the development of Read Naturally, a program that increases reading fluency.  I believe my reluctant reader will be one of their success stories and I’m very grateful for their contribution to his education.

 

 

Read Naturally is based on a structured program of:

  1. Teacher Modeling – a proficient reader models correct reading for a less able reader.
  2. Repeated Reading – “practice makes perfect,” or close, as it builds fluency and confidence.
  3. Progress Monitoring – progress is tracked and used as motivation to read and improve.

 

Read Naturally products support and reinforce the 5 essential components of reading as outlined by the National Reading Panel – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

We are using their newest, web-based, assessment & intervention program, Read Live.  Created for use primarily in schools and classrooms, I only noticed this during set-up, when I needed a school name, an administrator and a teacher.  Because it is nearly student-independent it adapts well to the homeschool environment.

 

This video takes you through a lesson of Read Live.

 

This is an excellent program!  My son is not thrilled with the repetitive readings, but he applies himself and he can literally see the value in it in the difference between his Cold Timing reading and his Hot Timing reading scores.

I really appreciate the Wordtastic vocabulary game that occupies the student while they’re “waiting for the teacher” during the Cold Timing and Pass steps.  The other day, I was trying to get lunch on the table and although I said, “I’m coming…I’ll be right there,” I wasn’t.  The time wasn’t lost though, because my son reviewed or learned 102 synonyms and antonyms during those extra minutes.

I wish there was more variety in the reading material for the lessons.  Especially, because there is so much repetition, what is being read tends to be absorbed.  If these were Bible verses he was reading, he’d have several memorized by the time he is finished.  As it is, parents with younger children should be aware that some readings (evolution) may not be what you want your child to “retain.”  My son is old enough to know what he believes; so, it isn’t an issue, but is not an option to skip any of the books.

For me, this is one of those vital programs that has to be broken down into bite-size pieces, in my mind, because it is expensive.  A 12-month subscription, for 1 student is $149.  I know the benefits, but…I still wrestle with the cost.  Then, with a little thought, I realize that for less than $.70 a day I can change my son’s life!  This calculation doesn’t put the money in my pocket, but it helps me justify the possible sacrifices.  The ability to read or not, with fluency and comprehension, can have a dramatic impact on an individual.  It is an investment in a child’s future.

 

Read Naturally Live does offer a 60-day FREE Trial.

Click the TOS graphic below to read additional reviews of this program and the One Minute Reader – home reading program, written by The Homeschool Crew.

 

Questions or Comments:

Contact –

Read Naturally, Inc.

2945 Lone Oak Drive Suite190

Saint Paul, MN  55121

email – info@readnaturally.com

call – 651.452.4085

or toll free800.788.4085

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.

Thank you for your comments. 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Nov
19

Heart Cries

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Usually, when I write a post I edit it a dozen times or more.  I try to use good grammar and proper sentence structure, check the spacing between my paragraphs and graphics…  It doesn’t matter.  It is so unimportant in the real scheme of things.

This one, I can’t even see clearly.  Thankfully, it’s typed, because if it were hand written it would be a mess.  My heart is so heavy and it’s tears won’t stop pouring from my eyes.

I am in agony over mothers beating, abusing and killing their children.  Every day, another story.  Some say it’s always been like this and it’s just being reported more often, now, but even if that’s true, honestly, it doesn’t make me feel any better for the children or their momma’s.  I know I can’t expect different from those that have no relationship with Jesus Christ.  I know that the heart of God grieves more than mine, but I figure, He’s God, He can take it.  I know Satan is afraid of the men and women these murdered children could have become.  My heart cries as if I’ve lost one of my own.  It literally feels unbearable.  I can’t breathe because of the pain.

I’ve always wanted to travel.  Load my family into a travel trailer and go.  See the country.  Show them God’s wonders and man’s handiwork.  But, I would gladly give up the possibility of that dream in exchange for a piece of land, with a big house, where those that are labeled:  unwanted and annoying, loud, crying and obnoxious could be dropped off before their mother’s can’t take anymore and beat them to death.  I wish I could build a “There’s Enough Love Here” House.

Stop killing your babies and let a me love on them for you, until you come to your senses, or forever if you’d rather.  I understand that you might be so hurt yourself that you’re empty of love and patience.  I don’t pretend to know your story, but I will not judge you.  I just want you to stop and listen to me.  There’s enough love here for you, too.  I don’t want to read or hear that you were just so tired of the inconvenience or the noise that you beat your child into silence.  I’m willing to help you.

I have no money, no land and no big house; so, needless to say, aside from praying and rattling the gates of Heaven on your behalf, I’m really of no help. But, I wanted you to know that I’m willing.  Someone does care.  Ask for help and if you’re turned away, ask someone else, and then someone else, until you find a me that can help you and your child.  You are not alone.

May God have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.

 

Abiding in Him,

 

 

 

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Nov
18

It’s Big, Really Big!

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To say something is mammoth is to say it is something of great size.  My kids would interchange it with ginormous, a word they’re sure they used before anyone else even thought of it.  Personally, I like colossus – of gigantic size and proportions.

My latest review is for Math Mammoth and it’s big, really bigMaria Miller, the author, has put together multiple math options for your student.  Hundreds of pages of text and worksheets, organized as a complete curriculum, for grades 1-6, or as work texts and worksheets, by topic or grade level, through the 8th grade

 

 

She has devoted more than ten years to creating math resources and this effective curriculum that is available as an instant download and in printed books.  She’s packaged over 300 sample worksheets that can be used for FREE.

It is also no small thing that Math Mammoth is affordable.  $34.00 per download, per grade level or work text (worksheets and text in the same book), by topic, for $2 – $7 each, and several discounted package deals.  In today’s economy this is huge!

Over the years we have used several different math programs.  Some have been successful and some were duds, according to the learning bent of my child, not necessarily the merits of the program.  Math curricula are not one size fits all.

Basically, Math Mammoth focuses on one concept at a time – in depth – approaching a problem from different angles – until that concept is mastered.  Therefore, thinking is challenged, and mental math acquired and honed.  I have discovered, finally, that this is the perfect environment for one of my sons.  The lessons appear “clutter free” to him.  They are clear and concise, and he understands what he is expected to learn.  He concentrates on it, studies it until he’s “got it,” then checks it off in his mind as conquered and moves on to the next topic.  My daughter, on the other hand, finds it “rather boring and monotonous” and performs much better when stimulated by variety and repetition.

It is monumental to me, as a parent/teacher, that Maria Miller has developed a FREE placement test for each of the grades.  I was unsure, for a couple of my children, what grade level they had attained in math.  I thought there might be a few conceptual gaps in their education, but I wasn’t even sure what was missing.  So, I had no idea where to start with this program.  Maria suggested that I give the children a placement test and then submit the results to her.  She personally analyzed the results with me and advised me, based on her own extensive experience and education, on which course would be best for my son.  Her guidance and support has been an immense help.

My crew mates reviewed the series of books offered by Math Mammoth and I have attached links throughout this post to give you more detailed information ~

 

 

Click the TOS graphic below to read what they thought of each option.  The Light Blue Series book that we’ve been using has made an impressive positive impact on my son’s view of math and his own level of capability.

 

 

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.

Thank you for your comment!

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Nov
16

FREE College

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I am not blind.  I actually have good eye sight, but sometimes I feel like I’m stumbling around in the dark.  This is especially true when trying to help my teens prepare for college.

Just as I imagine Braille changes the life of a person without sight, College Prep Genius has the potential to change the life of the college-bound student.  They both offer hope, through real applications and solutions.

 

 

Did you know that test prep should start in a student’s freshman year?  The PSAT/NMSQT can be taken even earlier and good scores can have a tremendous affect on college acceptance and tuition.  Consistent study and familiarizing practice time takes the paralyzing fear of the unknown out of the test taking.  If you have expectations for college, start your research now.

“Going to college today can be extremely expensive and a student can incur long-lasting debt that can follow him or her for many years. The truth is, 50% of college is paid for by loans, 40% by grants and about 10% actually comes from scholarships. The good news is that college can be within the reach for just about everyone. There are many ways students can receive scholarships as well as FREE college!”

College Prep Genius is designed to increase standardized test scores, aiming to secure scholarships and assistance to pay for college.  Master the SAT Class DVD is a 10 hour course, taught in 45 minute segments, over 12 lessons.  ($59.95)  Everything in the DVD is also thoroughly covered in the textbook.  ($49.95)  And, there is a companion workbook.  ($19.95)

The lessons walk the student through each section of the SAT:

Critical Reading – learn to cut your time in half.

Math – learn to recognize patterns and eliminate questions from the start.

Writing – learn to write an exemplary essay in 15 minutes.

Plus ~

350 tips, shortcuts and strategies

Math terms

Latin roots, prefixes; suffixes

and

More than 30 scholarship websites

College Prep Genius teaches techniques and even tricks, to get correct answers quicker, that can raise your SAT score as much as 600 points.

This is a student-friendly course, each lesson can be paced to the student; viewed repetitively or not.  The author, Jean Burk, is an outstanding instructor.  Her enthusiasm for SAT Prep Success is irresistible!  Being properly equipped for any task builds confidence.  It is logical that confidence in your test preparation would help you excel in the actual test.  We don’t have our results, yet, but we believe they’ll reflect the exceptional benefits of taking this course.

Comments or Questions?

write –

College Prep Genius

P.O. Box 398

Hurst, TX  76053

phone –

817.282.7737

email –

info@collegeprepgenius.com

Normally $129.85 total, the College Prep Genius DVD Set is on sale now, at 25% off = $99.00.  Ultimately, it’s risk free because of the 100% Money Back Guarantee.  I highly recommend it for every junior high and high school student.  It is easy to follow and there’s enough information, in the first lessons alone, to dispel any darkness.  I wish it had been available ten years ago, for my first teens.

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew reviewed College Prep Genius and their Vocabcafe Series, which you can find by following the links provided throughout this post.

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.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Nov
09

Thoughtful Consideration

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As parents, we encourage our children to “court” their future mate, simply, seeking their affections, getting to know them, with the intention of marriage.  The “dating game,” sifting through humans and discarding them along the way, is not one we play.

I recently “met” author Gary Bower and his wife, Jan, when I read their book, The Person I Marry – Things I’ll Think About Long Before Saying I Do, and I recognize kindred spirits.  There’s a glimpse of their hearts on every page.  Gary’s is shared through the sweet rhythm of his poetry and Jan’s, through the expressive brush strokes of her oil paintings.  He is the author and she is the illustrator.  Just as they made 12 beautiful children together, they now make beautiful children’s books, together.

 

 

Gary writes, “It’s ‘who’, not ‘what’ that makes a great wedding.”  “What makes a princess?  What makes a prince?”  “Something that’s inside, something much deeper, will help me determine which one is a ‘keeper’.”

Each page prompts a thoughtful consideration, and possible discussion on what to look for in a potential spouse.

Kindness, Tenderness, Graciousness, Generosity, Friendship, Determination, Joyfulness, Tolerance, Respectfulness, Devotion, Commitment, Modesty, Moral Purity, Trustworthiness, Truthfulness, Contrition, True Love and more. 

“The vows I’ll say I mean to keep, so I’ll look hard before I leap,” reminds Gary.

 

The Person I Marry from Bower Books.

 

The Person I Marry won the 2010 Christian Small Publisher of the Year award.  It has an appeal to all ages.  It is a comfortable, snuggled-on-the-couch lap book, 32 pages, hard bound.  From educational tool, conversation starter to lovely gift idea – birthday, engagement, wedding and anniversary, it is worth the $11.99 retail and has the potential to become a family treasure.

 

You’ll find other wholesome books in the “Bright Future Book” collection, by the Bowers:

There’s a Party in Heaven – hope of a future; comfort for those who face the loss of a loved one.

The Jingle in My Pocket – practical ideas and healthy attitudes about money.

What Do Heroes Wear? – finding purpose by serving others.

And poster-size, stunning art prints of Jan’s illustrations with verses of Gary’s poetry, when you browse the Bower Family Books website(Please, follow the links I’ve included throughout this post.)


You can contact Gary and Jan Bower at:

Bower Books & Fine Art

7700 Timbers Trail

Traverse City, Michigan  49684

Call ~

888.898.3207 

or

231.941.0899

Email ~

garybower@charter.net

I’m grateful for the “introduction” to Gary & Jan, through The Person I Marry.  I look forward to getting to know them better.

Gary blogs @

“Daddy Says…”

Thoughts from the Heart of a Father of Twelve

and I can follow

on facebook

Many of my crew mates have known the Bower’s for years, while some have just met them, but you can read all of their reviews by clicking on the TOS graphic below.

I appreciate the Godly direction, inspiration and quiet affirmation of The Person I Marry.  It’s been a joy to read it to my children.  I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

 

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.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Nov
08

Clever Dragons Discount!

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Clever Dragons launches it’s smart fun for boy’s only, today!  My son has been waiting weeks for this, as I wrote in my review of a scoop of laughter, a scoop of learning, Always Icecream, for girl’s only!

I’ll be posting a review of this site, soon, but couldn’t wait to tell you that Clever Dragons is online and they are offering a discounted membership rate for a limited time only.

* Now through November 27th *

Launch Special Price

$39.99 for Lifetime Membership

No promo code needed.

Find Clever Dragons on facebook for the latest updates.

Blessings,

Clever Dragons, nor anyone affiliated with them, asked me to write this post.  I received no compensation and any expressed opinions are my own.

Thanks for your comments.  PK

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Nov
07

An Adventure to Ooka Island

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Technology has not changed at our house at the same rate that it has generally, but, we use more of it than many households do, I’m sure.

I remember a time when we didn’t own a camera.  One year, I wrote every detail I could think of to record our child’s 2nd birthday party.  We didn’t have a camera and I didn’t want her to think we hadn’t had a party for her, because there were no pictures; so, I described everything!  Eventually, we owned a Polaroid that developed instant pictures and a little 110 camera.  We had to send our 110 film off in an envelope to get it developed and then got our pictures in the mail.  Initially, 35mm disposable cameras were expensive, yet they cost less than investing in a real one.  The first 35mm camera we were able to buy was all manual.  You set the flash when you needed it, you advanced the film after a picture and rewound the film by hand and gave it to the developer.  It was certainly not an SLR, but I thought it was a wonder!  Over the years, we were able to upgrade to an automatic and I have some great pictures from those years.  The Christmas after our youngest child was born we were given our first digital camera.  You know how, usually, the first child in the family has the most pictures taken of them?  Well, that’s not the case here.  We have so many pictures of our youngest daughter!  Everything new she did was documented with the cool camera that had the itty-bitty screen on the back.  Now, a decent digital camera is reasonably priced and there are nearly half-a-dozen, owned by the teens and adults of our family.  My younger children think you look at every picture after you take it, they don’t know any different.

I used to write out every quiz and test, in duplicate, because I didn’t have a copy machine.  When our older children were our young students, they answered workbook questions on separate sheets of paper, so I could reuse the workbooks with their siblings.  For the last few years, we’ve had a do-it-all printer/scanner/copier.

In years past it wasn’t even a thought to own a personal computer.  It was way out of our budget.  Now, not only do we own a PC, but we have high-speed internet access.

Remember the Walkman that played a cassette tape?  One year, several of the children received personal CD players for Christmas.  Last year the three youngest were given MP3’s.

There are cell phones everywhere! And it wasn’t that many years ago that there were only three television stations and you actually had to leave your house to rent a VHS movie.  No HD, no DVD, no Blue-Ray and certainly not as many acronyms.

An older daughter has a Kindle and I recently bought a WebOS Touch Pad, for reading and school-on-the-go.

Our children know how to use each of these devices and more, usually before we do.  The last two school years have seen a dramatic difference in how I teach, because I’ve had access to online curricula.  I’m still working on finding a balance, but I don’t shy away from the use of technology, like I once might have done.

The fact is, some of my children are a generation apart.  Things have changed.  I have more options today than ever before, when it comes to their education.  By no means are we on the cutting edge of technology, but we are trying to keep a steady pace.

Recently, my youngest daughter and I set out on a new adventure.  Now, before I take a trip, I like to know something about my destination.  I do a little research before I book a flight or a cruise.  I read reviews, check out the best eateries and look for places that aren’t tourist traps.

I discovered an island that I hadn’t heard of before.  So, we went to the logical place to check it out – You TubeThere are dozens of videos about it!

 

This one got us excited about beginning our Ooka Island Adventure!


Click graphic to view the Official Trailer.

Ooka Island is a virtual online world.  A vibrant, energetic world created especially for ages 3 – 7 years, pre-K through 2nd grade.

Students style a personal avatar and set off on heroic quests.  Along the way, they develop skills essential to prereading, reading and spelling.  They learn to understand sounds, associate sounds with letters, blending and making words, all while mountain climbing, cave exploring, cake making and more.

This is an innovative program.  There are 24 levels of purposeful, crazy-fun 3D games, led by a robot named Zobot!  The players meet Auntie Kay, Ooka elves that need rescued and the mischievous Figgs.  20 minutes of school work, that they don’t have a clue they’re doing, and they earn 8 minutes of free time.  They’re successes are rewarded with the option to play games or buy stuff for their avatar.

Click graphic to read “the Ooka Adventure for Parents.”

The ten Ooka Island game areas, are designed to build on each other, getting more difficult with each one.  The entire system adapts to each individual child’s progress.  It is a complete curriculum, using 85 interactive e-books, on three levels:  Emergent, Beginning and Fluency.  My daughter is quite fond of the Ooka books, because they seem rather Dr. Seuss-ish and are written for the child.

Take your child on an adventure to Ooka Island, there is a Parent’s Page where you can track their progress and play along.  Together, you will motivate and teach him to be a fluent, lifelong reader.

There’s no risk with the 14-day Free Trial.

Click graphic for full pricing overview.

Use promo code:  LAUNCHSPECIAL30  and save 30% on a monthly subscription.

To read other Ooka Island Adventures reviews, click the TOS Homeschool Review Crew graphic below.

Stay up-to-date with everything on the island by following Ooka on facebook.  Browse the website:  http://www.ookaisland.com  and read Village Voices, the Ooka blog.

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.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Nov
03

The Look of a Multitasker

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I consider myself, as a momma-to-many, to be a somewhat proficient multitasker, but I think the flip side to that, on my rare off day, is scatterbrained.  Efficient multitasking is methodical, steady, holding one’s thoughts captive, where as scatterbrained leans more toward having a screw loose.

To add Latin to one’s homeschool curriculum, especially one that will afford the student a full 1 year foreign language credit, can be an excellent endeavor or one that throws a wrench in the cog-wheels-of-life and breaks down the whole machine.  It can be impressive or not-so.

Memoria Press and their First Form Latin curriculum is solid.  It builds the foundation of language – grammar first – systematically.

 

Click the graphic to learn more about Memoria Press.

 

Memoria Press is an established name in publishing, synonymous with Classical Christian education.  It is set apart by characteristics of simplicity, quality, and affordability.  It is a dependable, family-run company, founded by Cheryl Lowe more than 15 years ago.  You may already be familiar with her highly successful Latina Christiana I program, an introduction to Latin, beginning in the 3rd grade.  First Form Latin is perfect for all beginners or as a follow-up to Latina Christiana I, and both have been designed for parents and teachers with no previous Latin experience.

First Form Latin is a 34-lesson, comprehensive study written for 5th-12th grades.  The First Form series includes: a Teacher’s Manual (view sample pages), a Student text (view sample pages), a Student workbook (view sample pages), Quizzes & Tests, and a Pronunciation CD, for $55 (view sample recitations).  With my very limited Latin background, I found this study a bit overwhelming.  I am not a confident Latin teacher.  Yes, the tools I need to teach it are included, but I try to maintain a firm hold on my time throughout the day, and because I don’t know enough Latin to begin with, this seems like a time-sucker to me.  I felt like I had to learn a lesson or two, ahead of my students, to enable me to effectively teach it.  The Teacher’s Manual ensures that I can, but I needed a lot of pre-lesson prep.  Maybe, my perfectionistic-bent caused me to make it harder than it had to be (imagine that) but the fact is, I rather someone more qualified teach my children (and me, for that matter) Latin.  An additional $60 ($115 total) adds DVD’s and flashcards to the First Form series.

 

I now have a master private tutor, for seven students, teaching a remarkably effective Latin program, AND  I impressively resemble an efficacious operator of concurrent undertakings.  Thanks to Memoria Press, I am a productive multitasker!

Glen Moore is an engaging teacher, and although he moves rather quickly through each 30 minute lesson, learning Latin seems fairly easy with him at the front of the class.

 

[from the website] First Form Latin features include:

  • Designed for students and teachers with no Latin background
  • 8×8 inch Student Text, small, concise, unintimidating with 34 two-page lessons on facing uncluttered pages
  • Limited vocabulary of 185 words
  • Full-size Student Workbook with 4-6 pages of exercises per lesson
  • Vocabulary derivatives and detailed explanations of Latin sayings
  • Grammar catechism for daily rapid-fire review
  • Milestone markers for each grammar objective
  • Everything-you-could-possibly-need teacher manual
    • Organized for easy access
    • Student Text inset with answers in color
    • Chalk-talk scripted lessons
    • Recitation schedule
    • Pronunciation reminders
    • Workbook with key
    • Unit tests and lesson quizzes booklet
    • FYI section for extra background

 

Memoria Press has a Return Guarantee.  One of my favorite tidbits of their policy is “if a tape, CD, or DVD ever skips, breaks, or is damaged, they will replace it for only a $3 shipping and handling charge.”  So, I make the initial investment, and basically, no matter how many children I have or what they might accidentally do to the DVD, I have an outstanding curriculum that will see me through graduation!  That makes Memoria Press multi-child, big-family friendly, and I am economically savvy!

 

 Browse their website for details of their other subjects:

Greek

Logic & Rhetoric

French

Primary Education

and more.

Contact:

General Questions? ~ online forum

Order Questions? ~ email ~ magister@memoriapress.com

Telephone ~ 877.862.1097 (toll free) or 502-966-9115

Mail ~

Memoria Press

4603 Popular Level Road

Louisville, KY  40213

and

facebook


Read additional reviews of publications from Memoria Press, written by my crew mates, by clicking the TOS link below.

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.

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Nov
02

Striving for Excellence in Literature

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Just a little more than a week ago, I wrote a blog post, a review, and in it I said, “I don’t believe that I have all of the answers to my children’s educational needs, or that I’m even required to, but I can find the answers.”  You thought that I said this, thought it, or wrote it for YOU, didn’t you?  Well, I did; I want you to find encouragement here, but…you would not believe how many times in the course of one school year that I have to remind myself of this!  I still have much to learn.

I’ve told you in other posts, that I love reading, English, spelling and writing!  I even thought that I had a decent foundation in these areas.  Oh, woe am I, I recently sent myself back to school, with my students.  Our teacher?  Mrs. Janice Campbell, author of Excellence in Literature:  Reading and Writing Through the Classics, by Everyday Education.

 

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We began at the beginning, with EIL::  English 1:  Introduction to Literature.  The first of 5 college preparatory levels:

  1. Introduction to Literature
  2. Literature and Composition
  3. American Literature
  4. British Literature
  5. World Literature

(Note:  American and British Literature are co-published with the Institute for Excellence in Writing.)

 Introduction to Literature is written for grades 8 – 12 and has options for honors credit.  I find the reading and writing both stimulating and challenging, and we have not even properly used the honors options!

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 Click graphic to follow unit sample link.

 

 The text is written to the student and is designed to be self-directed.  There are 9 units per level, optimally completed within 4 weeks each.  Each unit focuses on a specific piece of writing, or group of writings – novels, drama & poetry.  These are the focus texts.  Additionally, a study of the author is done, including research on the historical time period the author is writing from and the art, music and influences of the day.  These context texts provide an in-depth understanding of the literature, making the analysis easier and more informed.  The student is encouraged to read the honors texts as well, if they desire to take AP and/or CLEP exams.  Finally, a composition, in answer to a specific essay question, must be planned, drafted, revised, polished and presented for evaluation.

Initially, as I read through the course syllabus, I was overwhelmed.  Even though the author says, “reading is a conversation between a reader and an author,” and she successfully writes this way, I have neither taken a course, nor taught a course, with requirements such as these.  That’s why I decided we would do the first units together.  Reading aloud, researching together, pooling our thoughts and openly discussing the essay questions.  We have not written anything, yet, or used the Evaluation Rubric that’s provided, but we are learning.

My high school students are already past eighth grade and they don’t have 5 years left to complete this exceptional literature course; so, we’re being flexible and that actually has Janice Campbell’s blessing.  Yes, each level ideally builds on the previous one, but it is also designed to mix and match, across levels as needed, to allow for – the coordination of literature levels with history studies, time constraints, etc.  My thought is that it is better for a student to complete only two levels in three years, while becoming comprehensively literate and discovering a treasure of great stories, plays and poems, than to strictly follow the lesson plan but never quite “get it.”  Mrs. Campbell acknowledges that each family and student is unique.  She does have a goal for Excellence in Literature.

Her goal is to:

  • Introduce students to great literature from the western literacy tradition.
  • Teach students to read with discernment.
  • Train independent, self-motivated learners.
  • Provide tools that students can use to strengthen their writing skills.
  • Introduce students to sources for high-quality online and offline research.
  • Prepare students for college classes by expecting carefully-researched, well-thought-out material to be presented in standard format, with preliminary proofreading completed.

But even as we are striving to reach these goals, she gives us permission to suit the curriculum to our needs.  (“Thank you, Janice Campbell, I appreciate that freedom more than you may know.”)  I’m more comfortable with the set-up every day, including my adjustments.  I’ve completely cut out a couple of focus texts and substituted a couple of honors texts in place of the assigned texts.  I chose T.S. Eliot’s, Murder in the Cathedral (honor), over Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw (focus) and The Pilgrim’s Progress (honor), by John Bunyan, over Gulliver’s Travels (focus), by Jonathan Swift.  The Pilgrim’s Progress is our first essay.  I have big plans to quickly glean as much as possible of English 1, steadily move through English 2 and maybe scratch the surface of English 3, before the next graduation.

I love this curriculum and I’m looking forward to actually following the prescribed lesson plan with my younger children!

Excellence in Literature is available in print or e-book.  I like this particular product in e-book format.  I had instant access and copyright permission to print as many copies as needed for my immediate family.

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1 year/level – $29.

All 5 levels, now available, at one time – $139.

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You can contact Janice Campbell several ways, the woman is everywhere!  =)

email is best ~ jceved@comcast.net

or

write ~

Janice Campbell

Everyday Education,LLC

P.O. Box 549

Ashland, VA  23005  USA

subscribe to her blogs ~

Taking Time For Things That Matter

and

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or

click logo to follow on facebook.

Read other reviews of Excellence in Literature:  English 1:  Introduction to Literature, on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Blog.

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.

 

 

Thanks for your comments.

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.


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