Archive for June, 2013

Jun
23

Time

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

Time by Sarah Koshiol

It may seem to fly by,

slow, or stand still;

but who can stop it’s hands?

 

Some say it is their enemy.

Some say it’s on their side.

 

We call it money.

We call it a thief. 

In our loss, we feel robbed of it. 

 

It heals. 

We kill it. 

It changes people.  It changes everything. 

 

We ask what it is.  Only it will tell. 

 

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You can use it up,

You can run it out;

but you can’t run from it.

 

We need it. 

We make it.  We waste it. 

We spend it.  We save it. We lose track of it. 

We want more of it.

 

What are you doing with yours?

 

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

 

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

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

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Jun
17

Prima Latina by Memoria Press ~ A TOS Review

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Classical Christian education is based on the trivium, the lower division of the seven liberal arts, focusing on grammar — the memorization of facts pertaining to each subject, logic — organizing ones thoughts, statements, and arguments; and rhetoric — the art of speaking, communicating, and writing well, and taught from the perspective of a Christian worldview.  Memoria Press  is “a family-run publishing company that produces simple and easy-to-use classical Christian education materials for home and private schools. It was founded by Cheryl Lowe in 1994.”  Their “products are characterized by three things: simplicity, quality, and affordability.”  They have grown by leaps and bounds in the past 15 years, offering a complete Classical Core Curriculum for each grade, pre-K through 12; and individual subjects from Phonics & Early Reading to Greek and Latin. 

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Memoria Press’ website is easy to navigate, and in addition to more in-depth product information you’ll find a great resource of encouraging articles.  

 

 

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The Schoolhouse Review Crew and I have had the opportunity to review MP’s Geography I, for grades 4+; and Prima Latina for grades 2 – 4.  You can read all of the reviews when you click on the graphic below and follow the link.

 

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Cheryl Lowe says, “Memoria Press’ Prima Latina and Latina Christiana programs are Christian Latin courses designed to introduce your child to the rich heritage of the Christian tradition and will provide you, the teacher, with the necessary core component for your Latin-centered curriculum.”   It is written specifically, with a fine attention to detail, for parents and teachers who don’t know Latin.  Since that’s the exact boat I’m in, I’m pleased to use it with my younger students!

I have read, researched, and discovered that Latin teaches English; and it does it exceptionally well.  Latin is a cohesive binder, tying subjects together from history to grammar, and more.  It is regular and precise.  A discipline that can be counted on to be systematic, steady; and analytical.  I am excited by the possibilities that a solid foundation in Latin may afford my children.

I have the Prima Latina complete set, that retails for $90.90.  It includes the Student Book, Teacher Manual, Pronunciation CD, Instructional DVD’s; and Flashcards.  I didn’t invest in the Prima Latina Copybook, yet; but I definitely plan to purchase it. It will add cursive writing and penmanship to our program.

 

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We’ve been doing 3 lessons a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Doing our review work, recitation practice, using flash cards; and quizzing on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  Sometimes, spending time in the evening, because we can, reciting our vocabulary words, and practicing the prayers and hymns we’re learning from Lingua Angelica. Leigh Lowe goes over everything on the DVD’s.  Each DVD lesson is only about 15 – 20 minutes long, but there is a total 9 hours of instruction.  She introduces each lesson and vocabulary, pronouncing a word or phrase several times and having us repeat it.  She follows the student book, which makes it easy for the student to follow her.  Workbook pages correspond to and reinforce the lessons we’re learning .  I couldn‘t do it without her.  I wouldn’t do it without the DVD’s.  With Leigh’s guidance and teaching, it is actually simple, and fun!  My young ones feel like they’re learning a secret-coded-language, because very few of their family or friends understand it.  Over the 25 lessons we’re learning vocabulary, derivatives, beginning declensions; and conjugations.  We see Latin roots in so many words now, and have had competitions to see who can find the most in a given paragraph or two.  By the end of this year, if we stick with it as we intend to, we will have learned:  seven parts of speech, 125 Latin words, numbers 1 through 10, basic constellations, simple introductions to tenses, Latin phrases; and more.  You might have noticed that I’ve used the word “we” throughout this entire paragraph, because I am learning right alongside my children.  We’re building new, strong foundations and strengthening some old ones!

What’s your experience with the Latin language?

I hope you’ll check out Memoria Press, Latin.  I highly recommend it.

 

Blessings,

pk-siggy-2

 

Disclaimer*   I received Prima Latina complete set, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

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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Jun
14

Art Ditto by Birdcage Press ~ A TOS Review

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It never ceases to amaze me what one creative, motivated momma can accomplish when she has three young children, and wants to teach them that learning is fun!   In this case, the woman is Wenda O’Reilly.  Her first game was published by Birdcage Press in 2000.  There are now more than 30 award-winning games available!

 

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“Classic card games with an educational twist.”

I recently had the opportunity to review Art DittoIt is a memory game, but it is so much more, too!

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There are 48, 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″, high-gloss, heavy-duty tiles of famous museum-quality paintings.  The paintings depict birds, boats, cats, flowers, horses; and music.  They are gorgeous!  There are also 8, 5″ x 10″ cards that can be used for collecting art sets.  Designed for ages 4+, it is a wonderful game for family play with multiple ages.  You’ll find it on the website for $24.95, and possibly in your local art museum’s gift shop.

Because Art Ditto is a memory game, it promotes visual processing, matching, memory, taking turns; and sharing for young children.  The pictures are vibrant, and hold a child’s attention.  This game is not just for wee ones, though.  The cards list the subject of the painting, the artist; and the name of the painting and the date.  The text is written in four languages!  English, French, Spanish; and German.  (I do wish there was a pronunciation guide included, because it took me some time to look up the proper pronunciations so I could read them aloud.)  This game could easily be used, with older students, as a supplement to their art studies, history; and language.

I played it with a 4 year old.  Just me and my granddaughter.  She loved the art!  We spent at least 15 minutes just enjoying the paintings, and discussing what we saw in them.  48 cards seemed a bit overwhelming for a memory game, though, and it took us forever to match them; so after the first game, we chose themes ahead of time.  One time we chose the tiles with flowers and tiles with the color green on them, another time we chose tiles that had something “living” on them, and so on.  Each new game, we mixed up the set of tiles and played with the smaller set, making it quicker and a little more enjoyable for her age.  It’s a game that can easily grow with her, and future grandchildren.

My Crew mates reviewed several of the products that are available at Birdcage Press, and if you click the banner below and follow the link you’ll find them there.

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 Blessings,

pk-siggy-1

 

Disclaimer*   I received the game, Art Ditto, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

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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Yes, I have a blog on the internet; and I’ve learned a few things about attaching links to text and photos.  For this post, I even learned how to take a screen shot of a web page.  Needless to say, my skills are extremely limited and I feel like I am nearly technologically illiterate.  Therefore, I’m not comfortable teaching computer anything to my children.  I’m grateful there are now computer courses for younger children available from Phyllis Wheeler, the Computer Lady at Motherboard Books.

 

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My Schoolhouse Review Crew mates and I recently had the opportunity to review two products from Motherboard Books:  Logo Adventures a full-year, homeschool computer science curriculum using MicroWorlds Logo language developed at MIT; and the concise, short-term project e-book, Let’s Make a Web Page.

Logo Adventures is designed as a weekly lesson for 8 – 12 year olds, teaching students to read and write code, think logically, and strengthen their reasoning skills; as Ms. Wheeler walks them through the basic steps of starting to program while laying the foundation for understanding what it means to program.

 

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Logo Adventures Curriculum is a self-study book and answer key, plus MicroWorlds EX software for $129.99.  You can check out the Logo Adventures website for a sample chapter, and a Gallery page of student work.  I’m interested in reading the Crew Reviews for this one, because I didn’t have personal access to it.

A couple of my children used the 60-page tutorial e-book, Let’s Make a Web Page It is also written for children 8 – 12 years of age, but was easily adaptable for someone older, meUsing free trial software – CoffeeCup Visual Site Designer, this e-book will show you or your child how to make a Web page.  It’s just $19.95, and it includes an Introduction for Parents, 10 step-by-step lessons — from download, set up, add text and photos, to sound, links, and post your work; with an  Appendix:  How to Upload to the Internet. 

 

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Let’s Make a Web Page is easy to read and my kids found the instructions simple to understand and follow.  One of the first things Ms. Wheeler does is coach the student through an interview process to determine who and what their web page will be about.  Neither of my children had any prior experience building a web page.  They talked to me, and I explained the types of things I wanted our web page to contain;  while leaving the entire design and layout up to them.  I told them I wanted it to be about our family.  A place where we could scan and share pictures, stories, drawings, music; and more.

 

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Granted, the name isn’t the most creative, but the layout looks like they understood what I was looking for, and I like it!  We learned what HTML is and how it works; and they learned how to link text and pictures to other sites.  They had to do a little research, and were given important tips on how to safely browse the internet.  I think this is especially valuable information and I appreciate that it is included in the course.  My young web designers liked how Ms. Wheeler showed a graphic of the window they should see if they are following her directions and are on the correct page.  This was useful for comparison, reassuring to them that they were understanding the material; and a confidence builder as they worked. They were not as fond of a learn-by-error teaching technique that was used several times.  She would direct them a certain way, purposefully wrong, have them acknowledge that it didn’t work; and then redirect them in a way that would successfully accomplish the task.  Although it was effective, they felt it was a waste of time.  They prefer the do this>go here>see the positive result approach.  Overall, though, it wasn’t a deterrent; because Let’s Make a Web Page took away the fear of the unknown, eased concerns of difficulty and failure, and sparked a desire to learn more about computer programming and web design.

We haven’t published our web page, yet.  As suggested by Ms. Wheeler, I’m going to have my kids design another page or two and have a family vote to determine our favorite.  Then, I think we’ll find a free domain and publish it, so we can all keep up more easily with each other’s activities.  I’ll post an update here when we’ve settled on our final design.

My Crew mates have written more than 50 reviews of these Motherboard Books products.  Please, click the banner below and follow the link to read a few of their opinions.

 

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Blessings,

pk_siggy-red1

Disclaimer*   I received the e-book, Let’s Make a Web Page, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

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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Jun
07

Math Mammoth ~ A TOS Review

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This is a review of Math Mammoth — multiple math options and resources for your child — created by Maria Miller.  She has compiled hundred of pages of text and worksheets, organized as a complete curriculum, available for grades 1-6; or as worktexts/worksheets, by topic or grade level through grade 8/9 and including Algebra 1.

 

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Maria has spent more than 10 years developing these comprehensive math resources for Math Mammoth.  She has continued to make improvements to them too, adding new books over the years, and offering them not just in print form, but on CD; and as PDF downloads as well.  She has free tests on the website that can be used as basic math diagnostic tests.  I find these especially useful in determining any topic gaps or weak areas in my child’s math education to date.  In addition, Maria is more than willing to assist you with reading the test results and choosing grade level or topic placement.

Contact ~ Maria Miller – www.mathmammoth.com/contact.php

There are also more than 350 free worksheets and sample pages from Math Mammoth products and from Make It Real Learning activity workbooks, available on the Math Mammoth website.  My Schoolhouse Review Crew mates have used and reviewed the various products offered by Math Mammoth.  You can read their reviews when you click on the banner below and follow the link.

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I have been using the Light Blue Seriesfor 3rd grade, with my daughter.  The Light Blue Series complete curriculum resources include a Student Worktext A and B, along with answer keys, cumulative reviews; and tests for each specified grade level.

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The Student Worktexts are the most important part of the curriculum.  In each worktext you find the lesson material, a thorough explanation of concepts; and exercises.  We read the topic introduction together and then I answer any questions my daughter might have.  There is no prep work for me.  In all honesty, the text practically teaches itself, because Maria Miller is very clear and concise in her direction.  She has visualized how she would teach and tried to transpose that to the Student Worktext.  I usually watch my daughter work a couple of problems, and if she seems to grasp the concept then I assign some of the exercises for practice and reinforcement.  There are 163 pages in the Grade 3-A Worktext, and 158 in 3-B.  They are divided into ten chapters covering:  Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication Concept, Multiplication Tables, Telling Time, Money, Place Value with Thousands, Geometry, Measuring, Division; and Fractions.  Each chapter lists numerous internet websites that can be used to supplement book work as desired.  During the week, we choose 2 or 3 online games or worksheets that she can do for fun and added practice.  Maria’s tried to think of everything, and as I said previously, she’s always making improvements.  “The PDF files in the download or CD are enabled for annotating. This means that the student can actually complete the PDF file on the computer, using the typewriter and drawing tools available in Acrobat Reader version 9 or higher, or on a tablet device such as an iPad, using a PDF app that has annotating tools.”  The downloadable version of the curriculum includes a Worksheet Maker for extra worksheets, and conveniently there is a separate PDF file for each chapter cumulative review and test.  Many of the lessons have been completed in a day, but several have had to be spread out over 2 or 3 days.  In general, we spend an hour to an hour and a half each day on this course.

The main difference we have noticed while using Math Mammoth – Light Blue Series is that it spends concentrated, in-depth time on a topic, as opposed to skipping or jumping from topic to topic within a lesson; giving ample time and practice for mastery.  It doesn’t rely on drills & memorization as much as understanding & knowledge gained.  Maria encourages one to “plan your mathematics school year as a set of certain topics, instead of a certain book or certain pages from a book.”  I haven’t worked our math curriculum in this manner before now, but it seems to make sense and is working very well for my daughter.  A single topic, like fractions, can be mastered much quicker than the entire 3rd year math book, and she gains confidence each time she “conquers” a specific topic.  Her ability is affirmed more often and her desire to tackle the subject is evident when she enthusiastically asks, “May I do my math, now.”

There are a few manipulatives needed for the Grade 3 Curriculum:  an analog clock, a ruler, a measuring tape, measuring cups; and kitchen scales.  Other than these items, the curriculum is complete.  The full set download is $34.00, a CD is $39.00; and printed material is $45.95.  There are obvious added printing costs with the purchase of the download or the CD, but I still feel like it’s a good value.

I plan to read the reviews of the Blue Series, because it is worktexts for various topics, with each book covering 2-3 grade levels.  I expect that it is as well written as the Light Blue Series, and I’ll be able to use it to review and bridge some gaps with a couple of my older children.  Would your child benefit from using Math Mammoth?

 

Blessings,

pk_siggy-lime1

 

Disclaimer*   I received Light Blue Series – Grade 3, full set curriculum download, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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 Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

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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