Archive for e-book

Sep
06

Everyday Homemaking

Posted by: | Comments (1)

 

Econobusters  is a website dedicated to busting free from this economy, with Molly Green.  Molly shares frugal tips, recipes, advice and more to help you maintain balance in your home and life, while saving all the “green” you can.  Now, Molly has her very own product review crew, built on the standards you’ve come to rely on from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

 

 

 

Drum roll, please…  This is the first product review for The Molly Crew!

 

What could be better than everyday homemaking?  Isn’t that just what we’re trying to do everyday – create, maintain, or improve our home and life?

 

Everyday Homemaking is jam-packed with practical ideas and tools to help you better manage your household and time. Practical ideas, time- and money-saving tips, useful products, links to our favorite sites–family resources that God has used to enable us to live our lives more abundantly. Everyday Homemaking–practical ideas for busy families, like

 

yours and mine.”

 

 

 

I basically grew up in a single-parent household.  My dad was career Army and my mother raised us alone.  I was well-loved, but unprepared for adult life in many ways.  I felt like I was given a good foundation for motherhood, but not homemaking or housekeeping.   Vicki Bentley  is the author of Everyday Homemaking.  Her biography begins with the little tidbit of information that “she is the mother of eight daughters, foster mom of over fifty, and grandma to fifteen wonderful grandbabies.”  Wah! As you read further, you discover that she was able to homeschool 17 children, alongside her husband Jim, and was still able to “open the front door to guests.”   I have only seven children still living at home–they’re not babies–and more times than not, I meet my guests on the porch.  The Lord wants us to practice hospitality, but my lack of housekeeping skills often prevents me from doing so, and that’s sad.  I am awestruck at what Vicki’s been able to successfully accomplish in her life!  I wish we had been next-door neighbors when my older ones were growing up, but I’m grateful for the positive impact that she’s had on my life from this point.

 

One of The Molly Crew’s choices for review was Vicki’s Everyday Cooking – a collection of tried-and-true recipes…  The e-book format is $14.99.  I’m looking forward to reading my Crew mates reviews of this book, since I chose to review The Everyday Family Chore System.

 

 

 

 

I chose to review this book because the first words I read said, “Household management training!”  Vicki Bentley actually explains that her intentions are for it to be a springboard…to encourage and provide tools to help you mentor your children in what it means to be a responsible, caring, sharing part of your family.”  This was my first ray of hope that all was not lost, because these are the characteristics my older children display.

 

The book is divided into three parts:

 

1.)  Laying a Foundation – “Child training is the first step to successful home management training.”

 

I was immediately reminded of Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go…”  This is a foundational truth.  I appreciate that there are Biblical references throughout this book.  Somewhere, over the past several years I recognize that I’ve become careless in my child training.

 

2.)  Implementing the Plan
– Assign responsibilities
– Teach them HOW to work
– Motivate them to succeed

 

The facts are that the reasons for establishing a family chore system are more than having your home clean and organized.  Although, my husband would say this is prime, at the moment; and rightly so.  It also presents a way for us to faithfully serve one another, and provides an opportunity for me to teach vital life skills to my children.  Before now, I had no plan; consequently some of these areas have been neglected and are quite weak.

 

3.)  The Actual Chore System
The Everyday Family Chore System
– How-to-do-it Cards

 

Vicki believes Part 3 is the most important part of this book.  I would agree that for most people, especially those just contemplating a chore system of any type, first-time parents or a young family, this is probably true.  This is the section with the details of how to create your working chore charts and lists.  Part 3 is where she stresses that you must teach your child HOW to work, and shares her “essential element”
in the system — the How-to-do-it Cards.

 

 

She highlights several different ideas of how to implement the Everyday Family Chore System.  Even though we already have a chore system based on a rotation schedule, I chose to follow her suggestions and make a new chore chart.  I used a magnetic white board, because I already had it, and I purchased colored magnetic material that I could write names and chores on; and cut apart.  If I were starting from scratch, I think I would be tempted to use the magnetic wall paint I saw in the craft store. It looks so cool! It allows you to make nearly anything magnetic and then paint over it with the color of your choice!

 

We headed our chore chart with the words – Family Service = Loving Each Other,
followed by the verse from Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for The Lord, not for man.”

 

 

Ultimately, the chart itself worked similarly to the one we were already using.  However, the concept of the How-to-do-it Cards, although simple, is remarkable.  It changes everything! Especially, if you’re just starting to train your child.

 

The strength of the Everyday Family Chore System, for me, is found in Vicki Bentley’s ability to fill a gap for parents. She challenges parents to model behavior, and to have a clear definition of what it means to train and to discipline. She guides them to an understanding of basic foundational principles, that might never have been considered; backing every truth with scripture.  She teaches parents how to train their children. She is so generous with her knowledge and information–I just read the Basic Foundational Principles on her blog the other day. She has been blessed and she is a blessing.

 

 

This book is available coil bound – $19.99 or 91 pages in e-book format for $17.99.

 

To read additional reviews by my Crew mates, click the banner below.

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer*   I was given The Everyday Family Chore System e-book 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.

 

 

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.

 

Share
Aug
24

Behind the Music

Posted by: | Comments (1)

A couple of my daughters write music and lyrics.  Often, if they sing a new song, one of the first questions one of us asks is, “Did you write that or did someone else write it?”  We appreciate knowing the origins of music and learning the back story.

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers, is a story about “two young teens who, while on vacation in England, are befriended by an elderly English gentleman called Mr. Pipes.”  Annie and Drew first meet Mr. Pipes when they’re drawn into an old cathedral by music.  Music that is being played on a pipe organ, filling the cathedral with grandeur, as Mr. Pipes calls it.  It is unlike any music they’ve heard before.   Through the summer, Mr. Pipes gives them fishing lessons and rowing lessons, teaching them patience and perseverance.  He tells them stories about British hymn writers, their life and times, and music.  He shows them the value of traditional praise and worship.

 

 

 

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers, written by Douglas Bond and published by Christian Liberty Press, is the first book in a series.  It is available in print, and also conveniently as an e-book, presently on sale for $8.79.  The complete 4-book set can be purchased for $38.99.

 

 

 

 

 

This book is living literature.  I read it aloud to my children, because I wanted several of us to hear it at one time and be able to discuss it.  It is written for 7th through 10th graders, but 7 years old through adult comprehended it just fine.  It is rich in historical facts and you’ll find nuggets of Scripture throughout.  487 pages cover the hymn makers:  Thomas Ken, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Williams, John Newton, William Cowper, Augustus Toplady and Thomas Kelly, and John Bunyan, plus Scottish Hymn Writers, Anglican Hymn Writers of the 19th Century, Women Hymn Writers, and additional British Hymn Writers.  You’ll also find Further Reading at the back of the book.

I chose to print this book, double-sided on standard-size copy paper, put each page in a clear protective cover and place it in a three-ring binder.  I made extra copies of the few illustrations, sketches that are in the book and used these as coloring sheets for my children.   I also created word puzzles to correspond to each specific hymn writer, and had them draw pictures of the story, as I read it.  There are also numerous YouTube videos to watch that gave them a clearer picture of a place or a thing, like a pipe organ.

We really like this book and I hope to purchase the rest of the set, so we can continue the adventures of Mr. Pipes and his friends.

To read other reviews, written by my Crew mates, click the banner below.

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A PDF copy of Mr. Pipes was given to me free of charge, 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.
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.
Share
Aug
10

What is King Alfred’s English?

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Can Vocabulary delight you?  Can one be captivated by Linguistics?  Have you ever found yourself enthralled by our English Language or beckoned by History?

King Alfred’s English ~ A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do  is a delightfully woven tapestry of History, English, vocabulary, grammar and linguistics.  The author, Laurie J. White, is knowledgeable about the History of English, and passionate about sharing it with others.  “King Alfred’s English provides a guided tour of forces and events, conquerors and writers that have shaped, simplified, matured and expanded English into what it is today – the first truly global language in history.”

 

Travel through time…

Beginning around 55 BC, in Pre-English Britain, learn of the Celts, and Christian Romans in London, through Old English, Middle English, and A Time of Transition.  1526-1611 AD finds you in The Reformation, moved by the contributions and sacrifices of Wycliffe and Tyndale, during The Making of the English Bible.  “The publishing of the English Bible had an unprecedented affect on the development of English.”  Meet Shakespeare and Modern English, traveling from 1500 to today.

Laurie is articulate and witty, and this book is a pleasure to read!  King Alfred’s English is clearly written from a Christian perspective, highlighting the influence of Christianity across countries and continents, through language.  It is educational, conversational, and enlightening.  Presently, I am reading it as literature, out loud, to my children.  In just the first chapter, they were fascinated to learn that the Biblical book of Galatians, which they remembered as a letter written by Paul to the Galatians, was actually written to a group of Celts.  The Celts had settled in what is now called Turkey.  They were related though, to the Celts in Gaul, and were hence called Gaul-atians.  Tidbits, like this, scattered throughout this book, give it irresistible appeal.  We are captivated!

The Shorter Word.com, Laurie’s website, includes lists of free resources that correspond to each chapter in the book.  Worksheets and Tests, along with suggested books and movies, to enhance a setting or time frame, or more clearly define a person of interest, plus website links with additional information, make King Alfred’s English a full semester course.  Written for ages 12 – Adult; designed for grades 7 – 12, it’s on our schedule for Fall classes!

Christianbook.com has the best price for King Alfred’s English, as of this writing, at $14.89, but you can also find this soft cover book, over 150 pages, at Amazon.com and Rainbow Resource.

~

Laurie would love to hear from you, and you can send her an email with your comments and questions – laurie@theshorterword.com, or visit her facebook page.

I hope you’ll also take a few minutes to read what my Crew mates think of King Alfred’s English.  Just click the banner below and follow the attached link.


 

 

 

I love the English language, even when I have found it frustrating, as I was teaching a child to read or spell.  It always seemed to break the very rules I was trying to teach!  I have already gained more understanding and a new respect for our language, in light of  the multitudinous changes, through invasions, illuminations and edicts, that English has gone through since its inception.  It is easier to teach when I know why a word is pronounced one way, instead of another, or where the 100 most common words used in our language originate from.  English has such a rich heritage, “linguists estimate that as much as seventy to seventy-five percent of our English vocabulary is foreign,” and King Alfred’s English encourages me to be thankful for every word of it.

~

If you are interested in purchasing this book, I have a code for a 50% discount, good through September 2012, that I will give the first 5 of you that comment on this post.

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   An e-book edition of this product was given to me, free of charge, 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.

 

 

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

 

Share
Aug
08

How to Create Better Writers

Posted by: | Comments (1)

I want my children to know how to write intelligent, descriptive sentences, and have a well developed vocabulary.  I want them to know how to write great stories, strong essays, and research reports.  I want them to have every confidence that they are fully prepared for the SAT/ACT College Writing Exam. 

A road map would be appreciated!  What do I teach?  When do I teach it?  How do I teach different educational levels at the same time?

 

Reading and using

The Homeschool Writing Action Plan,

written by David Dye, the author of

is like winning an exclusive, one-on-one consultation that answers my questions, and relieves my doubts.  In his easy, step-by-step manner, Mr. Dye presents the major writing concept that every student needs to succeed!  While he has also written his own writing curriculum, How to Teach the Paragraph and How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay, he actually gives you the ability and the confidence to organize any writing curriculum into one, workable program.  It’s amazing what 54 pages can accomplish!

The Homeschool Writing Action Plan can be purchased as an e-book, for $15.95, or printed, soft bound for $19.95.

Click graphic to purchase.

How to Teach a Paragraph is built on one simple writing “trick,” as David Dye calls it, that is mastered by the student.  The concept that is taught is foundational to great writing and can be used with every subject.

Click the graphic to watch a video demo of the trick.

This is working for us!  I have seen clear improvement in writing and in some attitudes approaching writing, since using this program.

How to Teach a Paragraph is 22 pages, covering 11 Steps ~

  1. Assessment:  Students write a Paragraph
  2. Learning the Five Parts of a good Paragraph
  3. Memorize the Five Parts of a Paragraph
  4. The Paper Set-up
  5. Write a Paragraph together:  The Prewrite
  6. Write a Paragraph together:  The Paragraph
  7. Topic Sentence
  8. Closing Sentences
  9. Paragraph Assessment
  10. Practice, Practice, Practice!
  11. The Perfect Paragraph

 

“The ability to organize one’s thoughts and communicate ideas clearly is the backbone of good writing.”  Once my younger children fully grasp the trick to writing one paragraph, I think the transition to writing five paragraphs, for an essay, will no longer be intimidating.  The difference in my older ones is already notable, and we have barely opened the cover of How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay.

How to Teach the Paragraph is available as an e-book only, for $7.99, but it is free when you purchase How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay  for $17.95 e-book version, or $19.95 for a soft bound book.  The Complete Writing Program  includes both of these books for free, plus much more, because it’s  “a workshop in a book!”

Please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post.  There are videos, sample pages, and details listed on the Create Better Writers website.  You can also read the reviews written by my Crew mates, when you click on the banner below ~

 

 

 

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Email – dye.teach@verizon.net

or

Call – 562.627.5662

This product has so positively impacted our writing that I am seriously considering acquiring  Standard Based Grammar – Home School Edition, too.  It’s a grammar curriculum written by David Dye, claiming to give a “thorough understanding of the English language.”  If you happen to purchase it before I do, let me know what you think of it.

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   An e-book edition of this product was given to me, free of charge, 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.

 

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.

Share
Jul
20

Balance in Education

Posted by: | Comments (1)

I took a typing course in school and it has served me well for many years.  I’ve secured jobs because of the skill I acquired and I made the transition to keyboarding easier than many, because I was already familiar with the QWERTY board.  Just as I teach my children to write manuscript, progressing to cursive, I also teach them typing/keyboarding skills.

I’ve just discovered Keyboarding for the Christian School.

 

 

 

Keyboarding for the Christian School is written for grades 6 – 12.  It contains clear directions and manageable assignments.  In 43 lessons, author, Leanne Beitel has created a complete typing curriculum.  She teaches the Home KeysAlphabetic, Numbers and Symbol Keys, How to Center and Set Margins, How to format a Personal-Business Letter and Business Letters; How to create a Cover Page, Works Cited and Bibliography, just as I learned, but Keyboarding for the Christian School uses Bible references for the instruction and practice.

I have often used Scripture copy work for manuscript and cursive writing practice; so I have found Christian Keyboarding to be an ideal fit for us.  “Filling Your Student’s Mind with God’s Word Using Typing Skills,” is Leanne’s tag line and I think it’s perfect!  My child typed and centered, horizontally and vertically, 4 Psalms, as assigned in this typing course.  This seems like a balance in education to me, and I appreciate the availability of this curriculum.

Keyboarding for the Christian School , purchased as an e-book, is $15.95.  Also available is, Elementary  – basic keyboarding, for K – 5th grades, at just $12.95.

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact Leanne at l.beitel@christiankeyboarding.com 

 (800) 559-2154 

or write:

Christian Keyboarding
P. O. Box 34183
Fort Worth, TX 76162

Please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post, to learn more about Christian Keyboarding.  You can also read additional reviews, written by my Crew mates, when you click the banner below.

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*  An e-book of this product was given to me, free of charge, 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.

 

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.

Share
May
16

Capable of Sustaining Liberty

Posted by: | Comments (0)

The Bible is our standard for living, not our brother or sister, not our friend or neighbor.  God’s Living Word is the center of our life, or at least it’s supposed to be the center.  Stray very far from the precepts of The Bible and it doesn’t take long for life to get out of kilter.

Judah Bible Curriculum supports The Bible, as The Master textbook.  Making The Bible the source of every aspect of education.

 

Click to read – What is the Judah Bible Curriculum? – from the website.

The author, Bill Burtness, uses the Principle Approach as the foundation for Judah Bible Curriculum.  I’m sorry to say, I wasn’t familiar with Principle Approach, as a philosophy or method, before my introduction to this curriculum.  On my own, I’ve implemented pieces and parts, but not the whole.  Principle Approach “is designed to build character in teacher and student capable of sustaining liberty.”   I’ve spent years focusing on and building Godly character, but not with one eye, so to speak, on the goal of sustaining our liberty.

This is what Mr. Burtness says, “As America has veered away from God, and increased in dependence on the state, while becoming more chaotic, the critical need is to educate a generation of Christians who are intelligent based in Truth, self-taught not media taught, and self-governed under God not dependent on state control.  With the Judah Bible Curriculum, your children will be studying The Bible, not just studying about The Bible.”  Personally, I can wholeheartedly embrace this.

Judah Bible Curriculum is time intensive.  It involves preparation for the parent/teacher, as student AND then as the teacher.  JBC gives you the tools, to learn to teach, on 8 MP3 downloads.  I was overwhelmed, at times.  I’ve taught Bible for years, and some days felt like I didn’t know anything.

Written for all students, K-12, the lessons, themselves, are not difficult.  Though, the program is set up for 5 days of study per week, it is flexible.  Following the design, you learn and teach The Old Testament the first semester, and The New Testament the second semester.  The Bible is divided into five, chronological, time periods –

  1. Creation
  2. The Plan of Redemption Begins
  3. Kingdom of Israel
  4. Kingdom of God
  5. Early Church

Throughout the study you’re asking:  Where do you see the hand of God?  Where do you see the character of God? and Where does the Key (individual, event, institution, or document) belong in His purpose? The student is taught to research, reason, and apply. It is a methodical, step by step, precept upon precept, process of study.

We use the Judah Bible Curriculum as a family Bible study.  We start each lesson with prayer, then read the selected verses from Scripture.  Discussion flows through note taking, utilizing the Key Notes that are supplied.  I might add drawing, map reading, coloring pages, dictionary or concordance work, and additional reading, as a supplement to the lesson, according to the needs of each of my children.  But, I also have the freedom to not add anything, and move on to the next lesson.

The design of the curriculum focuses repeatedly on the main themes, adding different details over the years and expanding with the age or knowledge of the student.  I set the pace for my family.

~

“The resulting character we are striving to produce in ourselves and our students will be capable of sustaining freedom without anarchy, order without tyranny, peace and prosperity.”  “We should be totally and internally governed by His Word.”

Click to read –  Judah Bible Curriculum Philosophy

~

Judah Bible Curriculum delivered online is $44.00
-Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual, ebook
-Elementary Notebooks Ideas booklet, ebook
-8 lecture teacher training seminar, listen online or download

Judah Bible Curriculum w/Hard Copy is $69.00, plus s/h
-Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual, print version
-Elementary Notebooks Ideas booklet, print version
-8 lecture teacher training seminar CD

~

Comments or Questions?

Contact

The Judah Bible Curriculum

P.O. Box 122

Urbana, IL  61803

217-344-5672

I think this is just what our homes and our country needs.  I hope you’ll follow my links and visit their website.  You can also read what my crew mates have to say when you click the graphic below.

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*  A downloadable copy of 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.

 

Truly, they do!  Thank you.

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

 

 

Share
Categories : Bible, homeschool, reviews, TOS
Comments (0)
Feb
09

The Heavens Declare!

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Covering Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology and Earth Science, has left little time to really get into Astronomy – the scientific study of the individual celestial bodies and of the universe as a whole.  I know there’s a Biblical purpose for which the Sun, Moon and Stars were created, “…to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.” Genesis 1:14

In Junior High School I did an illustrated report on constellations.  I took over the huge bulletin board in the back of the classroom, used thumb tacks and white string, on a black background, and mapped the stars in our night sky.  My report briefly touched on names, history and origin.  I’ve enjoyed the Moon and Stars countless times since then, but I have not counted their worth.

Psalm 19:1-2 says, “The Heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays His handiwork.  Day after day it speaks out; night after night it reveals His greatness.”  Based on this verse alone, there is so much more than warmth from the Sun, and pretty lights in the sky at night.  I want my children to be able to recognize God’s handiwork, and intelligently acknowledge His greatness.  We need to learn how to observe the sky.

“It is said that every home in early America owned a (Holy) Bible, a copy of [John Bunyan’s] Pilgrim’s Progress, and the current annual astronomical almanack,” writes Jay Ryan, author of The Classical Astronomy.

In his Celestial Almanack, February, 2012, Vol. 1, Number 2  you’ll find:

an Astronomical Calendar

Signs of the Seasons

* The Sun’s Declination

Seasonal Skies – Evening

*The Great Constellation Orion

*The N, E, and W Horizons

Dance of the Planets

*Jupiter and Venus Approach

*The Motion of Jupiter and Venus

*Superior Planets – Mars, Saturn

We love Jay’s style of teaching!

Blessings,

Penny

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.

 

 

Share
Comments (0)
Jan
11

It’s a Wrap!

Posted by: | Comments (2)

At our house, a school day might begin something like this…

A Younger Child:  “Hey, Momma, did you know that all of the Anderson’s have the flu?”

ME:  “I didn’t.  When you talk to Katie, find out if they need anything.”

Younger Child:  “Okay.”

An Older Sibling:  “Did you know that our great-great-grandmother died from the flu?  Nana was born in 1912, so she was only six when her mom and her little brother died in 1918.”

ME:  “The worst plague in America was the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.  More people died from the flu in that year than died in all of World War I.”

Younger Child:  “She was younger than me.”

ME:  “She was.  Then, her dad died when she was just 12.  She was your sister’s ages living through The Great Depression.”

Older Child:  “1929-1939 or 41, or something?”

Younger Child:  “What’s The Depression?”

ME:  “I’ll tell you what, after breakfast, I’ll show you some pictures of kids during The Great Depression.  I’ve got a book, someplace.  I’ll find it.  It’s called Children of the Great Depression.  Just the photographs will give you a good idea of what The Great Depression was, but we’ll talk about it, too.”

At this point, my brain is charging ahead with plans for today and tomorrow, and beyond.

THINKING:  “I’ll make breakfast a little hardier than I initially planned, so I can just give them bread & water for lunch.  Seriously, hunger was real during The Depression.  Maybe we’ll follow a bare-bones-potato-soup recipe for dinner and eat by the light of an oil lamp.”

I know my older ones read The Great Depression, America 1929-1941, by Robert S. McElvaine, but the mids haven’t, yet.

THINKING:  “I’ll pull that out and we can read excerpts from it, to everyone, but they can work on reading the whole thing, themselves, over the next week.  They’ll definitely need to start a vocabulary/spelling list.  I have some Penmanship/Copywork pages I can add for the younger ones and an essay assignment for the oldest.”

DANCING INSIDE MY HEAD:  I can download an instant e-Book from Zeezok Publishing!  One of their Z-Guides to the Movies for the Depression era.  I’m pretty sure they have one for Kit Kittredge, and since we already own the movie we could actually work on it this week.  They love that movie, but with the Z-Guide they’ll see it in a whole new light.”

 

 

 

Books, movies, the internet.  The library, Netflix, museums.  I use them all.  Anything and everything that I can get my hands on and afford, that will stimulate my children’s desire to learn and successfully educate them.

Zeezok Publishing has been providing materials for the homeschooling community since 1993.  They’ve published government and history texts, and sixteen classic biographies on the great composers.  In 2010 they introduced us to Z-Guides to the Movies.

 

 

Each Z-Guide is developed for a specific movie.  We’ve found many of the movies at our local library; most are available for rent on Netflix, Zeezok sells a few and some you may already own.  There are more than 30 Z-Guides available, now, and another 25 are due to be released in the spring.

 

$12.99 gives you access to an instant e-Book download, of your choice, or you can have a CD shipped.  Many topics and time-periods are covered –

 Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Medieval Europe

16th, 17th, 18th & 19th Century Europe

American and French Revolution

Westward Expansion

War Between the States

The Roaring Twenties and The Great Depression

World Wars 1 & 2 and Post-WW2

and the Vietnam War

You’ll get a topic, time-period overview; a movie synopsis, giving you an understanding of the relationship between characters, events and situations.  A list of review questions to be discussed and answered as the movie is being watched, and additional activities prompting research and writing.  My favorite section of every Z-Guide is the Filmaker’s Art and Dramatic License Activity.  I do not have the ready knowledge that I find in this section.  Even as my children are learning, so am I.

“The Filmmaker’s Art activity helps the student recognize the tools being used to influence the viewer.”  Without the Z-Guide, I don’t always discern these as clearly.  “The various guides discuss how filming techniques, music, lighting, humor, character development, irony, foreshadowing, and even character names are used by the director and producer to influence the viewer to get their agenda across.”  Z-Guides to the Movies has changed the way we see a movie and that’s their goal.  They “want the student to be able to discern not only the agenda of the movie, but also how they are being influenced by it. The goal is that when the student goes to the theatre and watches a movie, he walks out not thinking it was an entertaining movie, but understanding the bigger message behind each film.”

My children are enhancing their critical thinking skills.  Besides movies, they now look at reading material differently, and also examine the influence and impact they may have on others with what they personally write or visually and musically produce.

I think  Z-Guides are impressively thorough.  In 2011, I used one with The Hiding PlaceClick the link to read my review.

Recently, we did, indeed, use the Z-Guide for Kit Kittredge.  Written for elementary and middle school, it was easily adaptable to include our K5 through high school and adult.

Topics and Activities covered ~

The Great Depression

Journalism

Prejudice

Family Unity

and Hobo Life

It was a perfect wrap to an interesting study!

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has had the opportunity to review several different Z-GuidesClick on the banner below to read what my crew mates thought of each one.

Comments or Questions?

Contact Zeezok Publishing

email –

info@zeezok.com

write –

P.O. Box 1960

Elyria, OH  44036

call –

800.749.1681

or

440.782.1193

and

facebook

The next time you study, tie everything together with a Z-Guide and a family movie night!

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.

 

I am not affiliated with Netflix and I receive no compensation for references.

 

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

 

 

I appreciate your encouragement.  Thanks for your comments.  PK

 

 

Share
Comments (2)
Nov
02

Striving for Excellence in Literature

Posted by: | Comments (3)

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.

 

 Photobucket

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!

Photobucket

 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.

~

1 year/level – $29.

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

~

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

Do What Matters, Make It Pay

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.


Share
Feb
11

Blue Diamond and Hope

Posted by: | Comments (1)

My older children grew up going on adventures with Ms. Valerie Frizzle and The Magic School Bus and they are sure she would think that Professor Ana Lyze (Expert in Outlandish Oddities) is a long lost cousin, or in the least, a forever friend with a kindred spirit.  They both delight in exploring, learning and teaching children, but there is a significant difference in the heart of Professor Ana Lyze.  Here’s an excerpt from a letter of introduction, from the professor:

Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Professor Ana Lyze… My research team and I specialize in the obscure, the abnormal, and bizarre.

Outlandish insects, rare diseases, unique gems, and more.  There are things in God’s creation that you’ve never seen before!

…read, learn and research The Curiosity Files.

(signed)

Professor Ana Lyze

She acknowledges God and gives Him the glory!

We first “met” Professor Ana Lyze, when we were given The Curiosity Files: Blue Diamond, to read and review.  This is an 88 page eBook, from The Old Schoolhouse (R) Magazine.

click the cover to view sample pages

Because of the professor, my children found it appealing from the first page.  It is presented in an easy-conversation style.  The Curiosity Files are ideal for ages 8 – 13, but there are enough internet resources, video links and options for older learners included, that it wasn’t difficult to stretch the age below or beyond and still keep everyone interested.

Currently, there are 9 curious unit studies available from TOS –

But, there are others in development, already.  If you have an oddity you’d like Professor Ana Lyze to sort out for you, she’s a contributor to The Curiosity Files facebook page, and I know she’d like to hear from you.

Blue Diamond is a thorough study of… you guessed it, diamonds.  Especially, those rare diamonds that are formed when boron mixes with the carbon, the blue diamond.  “It is estimated that for every 10,000 clear diamonds, the earth produces one colored one.”  One of the most famous blue diamonds, The Hope Diamond, is highlighted in history.  Bible scripture is referenced and adroitly woven throughout the unit.  The subjects tie into one another, seamlessly.

Diamond –> Blue Diamond –> the Hope Diamond –> our greatest Hope/Jesus Christ

photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution

There are puzzles, maps, quizzes, worksheets, games; crafts and experiments – with Notebook and Lapbook instruction, covering writing, math, vocabulary and spelling, history, geology and Bible study.


More than 20 websites are listed for more fact finding.  My older children researched the conflict/war diamonds of Sierra Leone and Angola.

Blue Diamond was especially interesting to us, because my children’s grandfather was a gemstone cutter for 5 years and then a diamond tool cutter for another 30 years.  “Diamonds are extremely hard and focus light well, therefore everyone from computer manufacturers to military contractors are interested in them.”  This gave my children the why to go with the what they knew their grandfather had done.  We have a couple of old, uncut and unpolished diamonds and one, small round cut,  set in a shank, that we studied under a magnifying glass.

Between the academics, reinforcement activities and the discussions on Biblical grace and hope; our family heritage and work ethics, and the true cost of blood diamonds, this was an exceptional unit study.

All eBooks published by The Old Schoolhouse (R) Magazine have a 7-day money back guarantee.  The Curiosity Files are available in 9-pack CD-Rom ($49.) and 9-pack instant download ($46.); they are also sold separately.  Check TOS store for individual pricing though, because every time I turn around they’re having a sale or promotion on something and the prices are cut.  Sweet deals!

Go to The Homeschool Crew Blog to read reviews of the other Curiosity Files.

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.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share
Comments (1)

Search

stats for wordpress