Archive for interactive

Oct
17

A Foundation for Thanksgiving

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Every Thanksgiving I am abundantly blessed to gather with my immediate family, extended family and friends in celebration of all God has done for us and our country.  This year my children and I will have a deeper more thorough understanding of one of the most important times in America’s history, thanks to Dayspring Christian Academy and The Pilgrim Story.

 

 

If you’ve already watched the short clip above or clicked on the links I included then you have an idea of what The Pilgrim Story is about and you know that the cost of the course is $99.  What you don’t know is that, if it is possible to fit this into your budget, it is well worth it!

This is a self-guided, self-paced, interactive online course.  This means that after you enroll you will have access within 48 hours, and then for the following 6 months you can view it whenever it’s convenient for you.  It doesn’t meet at a specified time.  This has been a huge bonus for my family!  Technically it is designed for grades 3 – 6, but the writer, Mary Stauffer, has led over 20 guided tours of Plymouth, Massachusetts using “the words of our country’s forefathers to teach the Pilgrim’s Story” and I personally believe students of all ages can gain insight from this study.  I’ve been able to use this course myself, ahead of my younger children, because I wanted to and not because it is a necessity.  I’ve only had to assign it to my older ones and nothing else is required from me.  They don’t even have to view it at the same time or at a designated time each day.  They have the freedom and flexibility to fit it in and around their individual schedule.

 

 

The heart of Dayspring Christian Academy is Psalm 78:1-8.  “It is important for children to learn about their history, so they do not forget the great things God has done.”

The Pilgrim Story teaches and preserves the truth of our nation’s past.  It highlights the Pilgrim’s dedication as Christians, well-grounded in The Word of God.  It clearly displays God’s hand of providence in their lives and the life of our country.  It reinforces the fact that “this nation has enjoyed freedom because it was founded on principles found in The Bible.

Because Dayspring Christian Academy teaches using The Principle Approach of Learning, there are Principles of Christian Character and Biblical Principles of self governance, hard work, perseverance and Christian Liberty throughout the presentation.  The course is organized in 5 Units of 3 or 4 Lessons each, with a Virtual Field Trip to Plymouth, MA at the end.  Each Lesson is 30 – 45 minutes long, plus an optional 60 – 90 minute Enrichment Activity.  

A Lesson consists of:

  • items needed for activities
  • documents to download
  • description of contents
  • review of previous lessons
  • vocabulary words
  • a student worksheet for notes
  • enrichment activities
  • lesson review and
  • suggestions for further reading

 

A Student Notebook is a key component of The Principle Approach and is a valuable record of their learning.  You’ll need a 1-inch binder and 5-tab dividers, one for each Unit.

 

Unit 1 – Introduction

Unit 2 – Preparation

Unit 3 – The Journey

Unit 4 – The First Winter

Unit 5 – 1621 – 1623

 

I copied the list of Recommended Books, chose which ones I wanted by grade level and then requested them from my library ahead of time.  Open Source Books, with free online access, are also listed.  Reasoning Questions for Writing Practice or Oral Presentation are included, along with Answer Keys, Grading Rubrics, and Activity Guides.  Review Questions provide a great Recall Assessment and there is a Unit Test at the end of each unit.  Dayspring Christian Academy will actually grade, record and maintain the Unit Test grade for one student, when the multiple-choice test is taken.

I do wish the video clips were closed-captioned, so my students would have the added benefit of reading along with the narrator, otherwise I am absolutely thrilled with The Pilgrim Story and the knowledge we’ve gained!

 

 

Comments or Questions?

 

Contact:

 

Dayspring Christian Academy

120 College Avenue

Mountville, PA  17554

or Call – 717.285.2000

 

Also note that several of my Crew mates had the opportunity to review this course and you can read their opinions when you click the graphic below and follow the link provided.

 

 

I hope your Thanksgiving is especially blessed this year.

 

Blessings,

 
Disclaimer*   I received 6 months online access to The Pilgrim Story, 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.

 

 

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Oct
15

Music to My Ears

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After many years of steadfast prayer fueled by constant desire, some of my children are now receiving music instruction from a local school of Fine Arts.  I don’t know how long we’ll have the opportunity, but with this gang we presently qualify for a big-family rate; so it’s affordable.  I appreciate the balance, as I see it, in their education; with Bible, academics, music & art, home management and community service.  I like being able to introduce my children to different things to find their level of interest and their natural bent.  A couple of my younger ones are actually starting out ahead of my older ones, thanks to KinderBach.

 

 

Karri Gregor is the creator, illustrator and teacher of KinderBach Piano Lessons.  She believes that children do not have to read to be able to learn to play piano or read music.  She has designed characters that help her students remember the piano keys, notes and the staff; instead of letters making words that must be read.  KinderBach is bright, colorful, fun and engaging!  Designed for ages 3 – 7, my younger children gained a foundation in music before they even realized they were taking lessons.

 

  • Music Theory
  • Note Reading
  • Rhythm
  • Music Vocabulary
  • Ear Training
  • Hand Position
  • Do, Re, Mi Singing
  • and More!

 

Click the graphic to view an informative video of KinderBach at Home.

 

The characters are endearing to children.  My youngest daughter was introduced to KinderBach around 6 years old, but was enthusiastic about using the online program again because of her affection for several of the characters.  You might also notice older siblings picking up instruction and building their own foundation in music from being in the same vicinity where the program is being viewed, because the lessons are lively and entertaining.  My preteen son says, “The story and songs stick in your head and then your brain recalls the pictures and instruction that is originally taught.  I know things about music that I didn’t even know I knew!”

 

Click to see the full cast of characters.

 

There’s ample material covered over 6 levels with 10 lessons each and 4 sessions in each lesson.  Yes, that’s a total of 240 sessions of private, in home music lessons!  Lessons are child-paced.  They can be watched and watched again, at no extra cost, when your daughter gets stuck on a favorite session or two like mine did.  The hands on activities thoroughly reinforce the lessons, making this a complete curriculum.  My daughter especially enjoyed attaching the little finger cues to her fingers, following the prompts and playing the piano.  I laminated the paper finger puppets so she could use them more than once, because they really encouraged her to strive for the goal of eventually playing without them.  Children quickly learn to play music that they recognize.

 

 

 

 A Year Online Membership gives you web access to all sessions by computer, iPad/iPhone, Android, Tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook; plus downloadable PDF activity pages that accompany lessons.  The best value is $7.99 a month for an annual subscription – billed in one payment of $95.88.

The TOS Crew previously had the opportunity to review KinderBach, but this time some of my Crew mates were given the chance to use the new iPad/iPhone App that’s available for Levels 1 – 3.  “App lessons can be purchased one at a time, or at a reduced rate for an entire level.”  The keyboard that’s needed for the lessons is on the screen, plus six mini-games are unlocked as you purchase more lessons.  The added convenience of education-on-the-go for just $26.99.  I’ll definitely be reading their reviews!

The entire curriculum is still available in a DVD & CD Activity Package, per levelfor the one-time charge of $40.45 each.  Value Packages are available, too!  What grabbed my attention is the fact that every disc has a “lifetime replacement”  included in KinderBach’s exceptional 30-day Money Back Guarantee!

~

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact  KinderBach  through the website.

Write:  KinderBach LLC, P.O. Box 181, Le Claire, Iowa 52753,

Call:  563.332.0587

 

and

Follow on facebook.

 

You can also read the numerous Crew reviews of the online program and the iPad app when you

click the graphic below ~


 

In addition, I have written two other reviews of KinderBach, and they can be found under the blog titles – Good Education and The Sound of Music.  This is a great program and I hope to use it with my grandchildren in the future.

 

Blessings,

 

Disclaimer*   I received 6 months online access to KinderBach, 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.

 

 

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Oct
05

A Box of Ideas

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You might remember that I have an affection for Unit Studies.  The Unit Study Method of teaching allows me to incorporate every aspect of my focus topic, covering many subjects.  This method usually allows for a lot of hands-on learning, and often improves my child’s ability to transfer skills they learn during school to real-life situations.  Where do you get the ideas for activities that will enhance your student’s learning?  I might talk to another parent/teacher that has experience or an expressed interest in the theme of our study.  I have several home resources, an exceptional local library; and access to an array of online resources.  I have a standard bag-of-tricks, but my latest discovery is Box of IDEAs

 

 

 

There are not many boxes available, yet; but the future potential is great!  Designed for ages 9 – 16, with the flexibility for use with even younger or older students, each Box of I.D.E.As. is filled with topic-focused activities and information.  There are at least 10 modules per box that might include games, puzzles, portfolio pages, experiments and explorations, well researched web-links; and more.  All of the activities in the box are complete, but if any additional supplies are needed, like a pencil, they are listed on the module label and can be acquired before the module is even opened.

Presently, there is a Box of I.D.E.As. for World War Two, SALT, Laundry, Quilting; and the number Eleven, with Olives, Pine, and Cemeteries coming soon.  Supplementing our current study of Early America, the SALT Box of IDEAs fit well into our schedule.  The branch of interest I pursued was early means of food preservation, and there’s a module for that – Preserving with SaltAfter introducing the topic into our curriculum, I let the box of modules lead the way.  The “SALT Box of I.D.E.As. is a comprehensive look at salt and how it has helped shape history, nourish our bodies; and even build and destroy empires.”  We were prompted to dig into History, Geography, Science, Language, and Political Systems; while using math, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills among others.

Contents of the SALT Box of I.D.E.As.

The single most difficult thing about using Box of IDEAs was choosing which module to start with first!  So, I read the label on each module bag: Title, Contents, Materials Needed, and Related Quote; and pulled out the one that “struck my fancy.”

The Wall That Salt Built – “While most people know of the Great Wall of China, most people don’t realize that it was essentially paid for by salt.”

Salt of the Earth – “Although, most of the world’s salt comes from the US and China, there are salt producers in many countries around the world.”

Very Salty – “A plethora of hypersaline lakes exist all over the world.”

Need for Salt – “For human and non-human alike, if we didn’t have salt, we would cease to live.”

Nelson Mandela quote ~ “Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.”

Producing Salt – “Finding Salt – It is something we see and possibly use every single day, but where does it come from?”

Science of Salt – “Salt is the combination of two elements – both somewhat volatile.”

Preserving with Salt – “Pre-dating the birth of Christ, salt has been utilized to make food safe for future use through preservation.”

The Game of Preservation by Salt

Salt Peppers Our Words – “Salt provides the root for many commonly used words that proliferate still today.” The Salt March – “In March of 1930, Mahatma Ghandi chose to protest, peacefully, the salt tax.”

The History of Salt – “Salt has had a profound influence on human civilization from the beginning and in all parts of the world.”

(45) 2″X3″ Salt Timeline Cards, initially used with the Salt Chronology Game

This is one of the simplest systems I’ve ever used!  I could easily assign a module to one of my middle school or high school students for independent work.  Just take the module bag out of the box and begin.  I gather pencils and make copies of the portfolio page for each of my children participating in the activity.  I also have notebook paper available for copywork and expository writing.  I read the printed material out loud and we discuss the content.  Portfolio pages record lab results, ask fill-in-the-blank questions; and prompt essay writing, etc.  Each module includes a list of 3-4 Extensions that encourage delving deeper into the topic.  The Extension activities are varied and I tend to choose two out of a list.

Here are five of over 30 Extensions suggested:

  • Find references in The Bible to salt.  It is mentioned approximately 30 times, see how many you can find and make a list.
  • Watch the 1982 movie “Ghandi” which chronicles Ghandi’s life and fight for Indian independence.
  • Make your own solar evaporator using household items…
  • What happens if a person eats too much salt?  Set up an appointment with a nutritionist or dietician to talk about salt in your diet.
  • Pick one of the top salt producers and find out how much revenue salt production brings to that country.

 

As time allows, I have the older students follow selected Web-Links for additional reading and oral presentation.  I make age appropriate writing assignments to be done after we close the module.  We normally wrap-up with one of the games or card activities included in the Box of IDEAs.

~

Box of I.D.E.As. and their complete learning modules are an outstanding benefit to our homeschool, aiding in the retention and recollection of the topic matter covered.  I think it is a good value in the combination of physical materials supplied and the time saved with immediate access to the thorough research that’s already been done.  A physical Box of I.D.E.As. is $79 and printable PDF format is $49.

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Call – 333.506.9411

or

Write –

Box of IDEAs  LLC

7115 West Calla Road

Canfield, OH  44406

and

follow on facebook

 

 

My Crew mates have written reviews of two of the current boxes that are available from Box of I.D.E.As.SALT and World War Two – Pearl Harbor.   Click the banner below to read their well expressed opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I received the physical SALT Box of I.D.E.As., 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.

 

 

 

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Sep
07

A Lighter Burden

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Taking Galatians 6:2 literally it says, “Help carry each others burdens.  In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.”  Dr. Marion Blank‘s desire to end illiteracy motivated her to extensively research how children learn to read.  Her years of study has produced multiple books, including  The Reading Remedy, and the award-winning  Phonics Plus Five reading program.  Her direct contribution to my life has been through the online learning program that teaches children how to read and write to a third-grade level –

Reading Kingdom.

 

Click the banner to read Why It Works

 

Dr. Blank believes, “Phonics is THE path to reading.  It’s why children for generations have been taught to sound out the ABC’s once they enter first grade.  But traditional phonics is not enough.  It’s great to be able to figure out the sounds of words, but by itself, it makes reading unbearably slow and tedious.  At some point, sounding out has to switch over to instant word recognition.  That means doing what you are doing now – looking at words and immediately recognizing what they are saying.  And that skill also is not enough.  In fact, success in reading calls upon five other essential areas.”

 

 

Reading Kingdom vs Other Reading Systems

 

I have taught several children how to read, phonetically, and sometimes it has been more trying and less successful than other times.  Now, I have a better understanding of the process.  Reading Kingdom, designed for ages 4-10, begins with a skills survey for each child.  According to the results, they are placed in one of 6 levels:  pre-reading or a reading level 1-5, honing their skills with the mouse and keyboard; learning to recognize, read, spell and type words and sentences.  As one progresses through the levels the six skills necessary for reading are strengthened.

  • Sequencing
  • Motor Skills
  • Sounds
  • Meaning
  • Grammar
  • Comprehension

 

It is expected that a child will be reading, with confidence and enthusiasm, at a 3rd grade level with the completion of  Reading Kingdom.  Generally, this will take 12 – 18 months.  After the first few weeks, most children can navigate the program on their own.  Reading Kingdom allows me to share the responsibility of teaching my child how to read, making it a lighter burden and not nearly as overwhelming.  Because it is interactive, it customizes each lesson for my child.  Each 15-30 minute session teaches her reading, spelling, punctuation, and writing. 

 

 

 

 

I can watch her progress and clearly see her successes, and so can she.  Reader reports —what they’re doing, how they’re doing and what is coming up– are available to the parent and track a child’s progress.

 

 

Reading Kingdom is lively, appealing and inviting!  My child wants to play it, but it has not always been gumdrops and lollipops.  I’m pleased that it has raised her reading level, but I am also quietly thrilled that it has significantly improved her level of patience!  Let me explain.  To me, instant gratification is the bane of our culture.  Reading Kingdom requires my child to slow down, focus; paying attention to directions and details.  She must type when directed to type using the keyboard and click when instructed to click a letter on the screen.  The word focus has deeper meaning to her, now.  If she concentrates and responds correctly she can progress through the levels, but if she doesn’t know an answer or is just distracted the program will re-teach the word or concept; which can get quite repetitive.  I consider these simple but important life lessons.  Plus, the positive by-product of the repetition is that it inevitably builds her confidence.  Whereas, I appreciate these perks of the program; some parents do not.  Since I reviewed Reading Kingdom in 2011, one of the changes they’ve made to the program is the ability to adjust the response times for your child.  For some, this makes the difference between tears and smiles; or discontinuation and completion.  I think the best thing to do is to take advantage of Reading Kingdom‘s offer –  FREE for 30 days  –  and monitor the results for yourself.  It’s truly risk free!

 

 

Reading Kingdom is $19.99/month (one child) with no monthly minimum or $199.99 per year (one child).  Each additional child is $9.99 per month.  If you take the time to directly compare Reading Kingdom to other reading programs you might find that this one costs a few cents more per day, but you will also find that the benefits of Reading Kingdom, as one of the most complete reading programs available online, far out weighs the extra pennies.

 

 

Dr. Blank and her team are “passionate about promoting literacy and believe that every child has the right to learn to read.”  There is a scholarship application program set up, making literacy a hope for everyone.  If Reading Kingdom works for your child and you know he needs it to succeed, then ask for it!  “Nothing is impossible for God.”

 

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact through the website

~ or follow on Facebook 

 

 


Dr. Blank can also be reached through email:  BlankM@childpsych.Columbia.edu

 

 

Please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post; and click the banner below to get a well-rounded view of Reading Kingdom  by what my Crew mates have to say about it.

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   Reading Kingdom gave me a generous, 1-year license 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.

 

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Aug
27

Making Time 4 Writing

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What do you make time for in your day to day life?  Work, devotions, music, God, family, education?  Generally, we make time for the things that we value.

One of our highest priorities is to make time for learning. Many subjects vie for the time that is available.  History, Science and Art are the easy favorites in our house, so we have to purpose to make time for the less desirable, Mathematics and Writing.  Time always seems to be in short supply.  I still teach my children how to look up a word in the dictionary, but I appreciate the ability to type that same word into a browser and have a definition in just seconds.  I appreciate crock-pot cooking, as opposed to standing over a stove, but I’m not fond of the microwave, even though it’s quick.  I appreciate time-saving choices.

One of my choices is  Time4Writing.  I think this is probably marketed as “Now is the Time 4 Writing,” but to me it is, “Helping you Make Time 4 Writing.”  Time4Writing provides 8-week, online writing courses with certified teachers.  Courses are available for Elementary, Middle School and High School/College Prep students, covering the basics through advanced essay writing, SAT essay writing and writing research papers.  Each course costs $99.

 

 

 

Using the placement chart available on the website, I chose to enroll my daughter in the High School Grammar, Usage and Mechanics course.  I wanted to make sure there were no gaps in her writing foundation. If we had determined that this was not the right course for her, for any reason, I could have changed courses or even had my money refunded within the first 2 weeks.  Time4Writing offers a 100% guarantee!  She begins her seventh week, today, and says, “This course has definitely been beneficial to me.  I already knew a lot of the material that was presented,  but I was able to identify my weak areas and discover what I still needed to learn.  Presently, I have a 96.86% for the course, but I have several classes to complete and I’m hoping to raise my final grade.  The teacher’s comments were encouraging and kept me on track.  Now, I have the confidence to conquer essay writing.”

 

 

Click graphic for Course Overview

High School Grammar, Usage and Mechanics covers:

  • Parts of Speech
  • Complex Sentences
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Plural & Possessive Nouns
  • Pronouns, Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Confusing Words & Capitalization Errors
  • Commas, Semicolons, and Other Punctuation
  • and Proofreading

 

Each course is student paced.  The student signs into the lesson and completes the assignments given.  These are not video lessons.  They are written and read by the student, reinforced by writing assignments and multiple-choice quizzes.  Tests are marked and comments written by the teacher, with the opportunity to correct and improve the grade.  I think this keeps the focus on learning and retaining the material, not on the grades obtained.  The parent is sent reports of every correspondence between the teacher and the student, and detailed reports of the assignments completed and test scores earned are available.

This system worked especially well for both of us.  I read reports and watched progress, but otherwise my time was not used for this course.  My daughter broke her ankle at the beginning of the course.  The pain and the medication she needed put her behind on her classes, but once she was feeling better she was able to make up the time.  She would work on lessons in the morning and then do an extra one in the evening.  Her teacher was attentive and helpful, even offering to extend her course time by a week, if it became necessary.  Although, the courses are a little costly to our homeschool budget, and I do wish they had a greater than 5% multiple users discount, the benefit of time gained was worth the price to me.  I hope to enroll her in the SAT essay writing course, soon.

There are numerous Free Writing Resources at Time4Writing.com.  I hope you’ll use the links I’ve provided throughout this post to gather more information and utilize the resources available.  You can also read the various reviews written by my Crew mates, when you click the banner below.

 

 

 

 

Comments or Questions?

Read the answers to  frequently asked questions, make  Contact  through the website

or

Click to follow on facebook

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I was given access to an 8-week online course from Time4Writing 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.

 

 

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Aug
01

Summer School and More

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Unlike many families I know, including those that homeschool, we continue schooling throughout the summer.  We take plenty of breaks during the year, at our convenience, but we do school year-round.

I’ve recently added Zane Education, with *The Missing Piece (c), to our summer schedule.

 

 

Zane Education has  “the largest, and most comprehensive fully subtitled online educational video library”  compiled to accommodate the requirements of the K-12 curriculum, and aligned to National and State Standards.  There are over 1,500 videos, covering nearly 400 topics, provided with lesson plans, interactive online quizzes, and more!

 

Subjects include:

Art

Biology

Geography

Health

History

Library Skills

Literature

Mathematics

Music

Religious Studies

Science and

Social Studies

 

Research proves that *The Missing Piece (c) – using subtitles and closed captioning on video – can dramatically improve children’s reading and literacy skills.

~

Once subscribed, you can begin by selecting a subject and then a specific topic to study, according to the access you purchased.  [In our house, a Gold Membership allows me to utilize the video library for my elementary; middle and high school aged students, and continuing education for myself, at no additional cost!]  User Guides  are available and cater to your child’s specific bent.  You can also download, and even print, a Lesson Plan Guide for each video.  Zane provides a vast Video Word Glossary, and interactive study tools:  an Encyclopedia, a Dictionary, and a Thesaurus.

Click the graphic to view a FREE Educational Video of the Day

When you watch a video, you might notice a couple of the quirks that we found slightly annoying, but not distracting enough to discontinue use of the program.

  • Videos do not play full screen.  There are some courses we could work on at the same time, but the viewing screen doesn’t really accommodate more than one person at a time; so, we’re concentrating on individual lessons.
  • There are non-functional button graphics in the videos.  I believe they are part of an older system and we just made the choice to ignore them.

 

There is also quite a bit of evolutionary content in different videos, especially in the Biological Science series.  Personally, if I am made aware of such content, ahead of time, I make it part of my student’s education and address it in comparison to our new earth creationist view.  It is my personal belief and Zane’s conviction that “students should know and understand positions outside of evangelical Christianity.   We are confident that their faith will be stronger when they know both sides and understand why we believe the Biblical view of the world is correct both intellectually and spiritually.”   Zane Education not only makes one aware of the bias, they have also written a Christian Learning Guide to assist you in teaching the truth.  “Zane Education’s educational program and this document offers you and your children two critical requirements for future influence:  (1) solid grounding and factual education, and (2) a Biblical Christian perspective and application of the program.”

~

This is our plan of action, for getting the most out of Zane Education:

Day 1 –

Print or Pull-from-File the Lesson Plan Guide for your assigned subject.  If not already done, put it in a clear plastic sleeve for future use.  Read.

Look up Glossary Terms ~ write summarized definition; key words, etc.

Day 2 –

Start video, pause at the beginning of each new page/frame and write down highlighted words that are not listed in your Glossary Terms, then restart video > listen carefully.

Look up words and write definitions.

Day 3 –

Play/Read video on mute.

Review words.

Day 4 –

Watch video and work on assigned Sharpen Your Skills projects.

Day 5 –

Watch video.

Take quiz.  (Note – Quizzes are marked and correct answers supplied by Zane, when needed, so that even in testing the learning process continues.)

~

We found this schedule fairly intensive.  We didn’t always complete the vocabulary work on the set day, and often rolled it over to the next day, but the retention of the material has been excellent!

Many of my Crew mates made use of  Zane in an entirely different way, and it’s beneficial to read their reviews, too.  You can click the banner below to do just that.


~

Monthly Subscriptions start as low as $8.99 per Subject, $12.99 per Age/Grade Level, or Full Access – All Subjects – All Videos for $17.99.

Yearly Memberships are also available, starting at $98.89 per Single Subject through the Best Value – Full Access – Gold Membership for $197.89.

~

You can contact:   Zane Education, by email ~  follow the link on their website, call ~ 1.650.488-8204, or write ~

Zane Education

2203 NE 203rd Terrace

Miami, FL  33180

Also, watch for their latest developments and new products –

Read their News Blog and follow Zane Education on facebook.

Read – What You Get with Zane


Zane Education addresses the genuine need for different learning styles, in our homes and our schools.   I encourage you to follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post, and browse their website.   You may find that it is the Visual Learning Solution for your child’s needs – whether gifted or specialized, home schooled or public schooled; Summer School, Bridge work, or Full Curriculum.

~

As a “thank you” for reading my blog, I can offer you a 35% promotional discount on the purchase of any annual subscription to Zane Education, available through August 31, 2012.  Use code ZE828HSM during checkout, to receive your discount, and leave a comment telling me which subscription you chose.  Thanks, again.

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A  one year, full access, Gold Membership subscription 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.

 

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Jul
25

Patience Assistance

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I usually have the patience for questions, asked multiple times a day.  Actually, I’ve spent years trying to encourage and build a foundation of there-are-no-stupid-questions; so ask me anything!  But, I tend to lose patience when I’ve answered the same question many times and the recipient of the answer doesn’t seem to be paying attention, or I’ve given instructions, that seem to be received with understanding, only there is no follow through.

I’ve handled it in different ways, over the years. I have had ears checked, on occasion, to make sure I wasn’t missing a physical  ailment that was causing a hearing problem.  I would give fewer instructions at a time, and have the child repeat my list, or I’ve dictated my list and had my child write it.  I’ve even disciplined for the lack of focus – write this sentence, 20 times, “I will do my best to pay attention when I’m being spoken to, and I will focus on the tasks assigned to me.”  Yes, I did!  Admittedly, it was great for Penmanship practice, but that’s about all.

Recently, I discovered that this may be a fairly common auditory processing issue.  Realizing that I’m not being ignored, or directly disobeyed, goes a long way to assist my patience, and helps me to be more tolerant and understanding. I also have an actual issue that I can trouble shoot.  HearBuilder – Auditory Memory is an interactive CD-Rom, published by Super Duper Publications, for grades K – 8.  It is designed to help your child develop and strengthen their abilities to recall verbal information, and that sounds like a possible solution, to me.

Your child will work with Recall Agents to thwart the plans of Dr. Forgetsit [Forgets It] to take over MemoryTown.

 

Mission Adventures cover Memory for Numbers (3-7 digits), Memory for Words (3-5 words), Memory for Details (1-4 details), Auditory Closure (sentence completion); Memory for WH Information (2-3 sentences/2-4 questions – who, what, where, when; why).

 

 

 

The software program can keep track of 1 – 4 players; so, four of my children have been utilizing this program, several times a week, for several weeks.   The graphics are colorful and seem age appropriate.  It is fun and entertaining, keeping them interested through as many levels as I will let them play, at one time.  The learning is done through games/missions, and without doubt, my children like this program!  Two of them are just over half way through the missions; so far they seem fairly easy, and I wonder how it is affecting their skill levels.  The other two are not quite half way, yet.  I have not noticed a marked difference in any of their memory retention.  If  I don’t see some improvement by the time they complete the program, then I think  HB Auditory Memory, at  $69.95, is expensive fun.  We will definitely complete the program, and probably even go through it a second time, with one child.  This is research-based, award-winning software and I want it to work.  If my children learn strategies for remembering, and improve their abilities to recall verbal information, then HB Auditory Memory is an exceptional value.  I just can’t, honestly, tell you which it is, for us, yet.

My Crew mates have had the opportunity to review this program, and a few of the other products offered by Super Duper Publications.   You can read about them when you click the banner below and follow the link.  Also, please, visit the Super Duper website!  They have many new Android Apps; Fun Decks – Sequencing, Inferences, Pronoun Parade; All About You, All About Me, and more, plus interesting information and help for special needs.  When you find something you like, use code BLGAM30 at check out, through August 31, 2012, and you will receive a generous 30 % Discount on your order!

 

 

Comments and Questions?

Contact:

email ~ customerhelp@superduperinc.com

call ~ 1.800.277.8737

or write ~

Super Duper Publications

P.O. Box 24997

Greenville, SC  29616

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A CD-Rom of HearBuilder – Auditory Memory 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.

 

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May
14

5 Days of Artistic Expression 001

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What is Artistic Expression? 

The dictionary defines artistic as showing skill or excellence in execution; naturally gifted with creative skills.  Another definition says – showing imaginative skill in arrangement.  I can accept showing imaginative or creative skills in an arrangement, but even the remarkable, Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect, Michelangelo Buonarroti did not claim to be naturally gifted or excellent in his execution.  He said, “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.” 

 

Ideal Face by Michelangelo

Expression is an act, process, or instance of representing, or conveying in a medium – art, music, words; movement.  I like the word conveying; so, the process of conveying information or emotion through art, music, words; movement.  “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”  ~ Edgar Degas  (French Impressionist painter, sculptor & draughtsman.)

There are so many mediums available, I believe everyone can be artistically expressive, in one way or another.  Drawing, Sketching, Coloring, Painting, Composing or Writing comes easily to mind.  Photography, Videos, Music, Dance and Choreography,  Scrapbooking, Storytelling and Cooking, are all outlets for artistic expression.  Don’t limit yourself or your child.  Artistic expression can also be squashed at a young age and never be recovered.  Vincent van Gogh, Post-Impressionist painter, said, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

 

 

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Why promote artistic expression?

Art education teaches children to be creative and innovative.  It can increase cognitive and social development, and boost self-esteem.  Most art skills require observation and reflection.  These skills translate into problem solving skills for math, writing, and science.  “Math is not just about numbers, formulas and logic, math is also about structure, symmetry, shape and beauty,” says University of Colorado math professor Carla Farsi.  “Conversely, art is not only about emotion, color and aesthetics, but also about rhythm, patterns and problem solving.”

Children learn best when both sides of their brains are engaged.  The reading, writing, math, and science activities are centered in the left hemisphere of the brain.  The right hemisphere is responsible for imagination.  The right side is artistically dominant.  Activities that cross over, stimulating both hemispheres, promote participatory and interactive learning.  The more faculties involved, the more likely a child is to retain what he’s learned.  Albert Einstein, German theoretical physicist, said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.”

E=mc[squared]

How do I teach artistic expression?

“A child’s attitude toward everything is an artist’s attitude.” ~ Willa Cather, American author

Encourage the act of creating art!  Supply visual, auditory, and physical motivators; prompts, but give your students the freedom to express themselves without parameters.  “Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to create,” believes Nicole Malebranche (French rationalist philosopher; theologian.)

Drawing is one of the first ways a child learns to express himself, and with encouragement he wants to continue to learn.  Coloring outside the lines is art!  Coloring the dog red, or the rainbow brown, is art!  French Romantic painter, Eugene Delacroix said, “The source of genius is imagination alone, the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently.”  “No great artist ever sees things as they really are.  If he did, he would cease to be an artist.”  ~ Oscar Wilde (Irish poet, playwright and novelist.)

We recreate our world from our own experience and understanding of life.  It’s not about perfection!  The most famous artist of the 20th Century, Pablo Picasso, is quoted as saying, “The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?

L’Accordeoniste, Cubist painting, by Picasso

I did not teach my children art history, or present the works of The Master’s, until they were much older.  I didn’t want them being influenced by or comparing their work to another’s technique.   In their early years, I gave them little instruction – how to hold a brush, how to create perspective; how to use empty space, etc.  I did not teach them how to draw, nor did I dictate what was to be drawn.  If they wrote a song, I didn’t correct it because the bridge was seemingly in the wrong place.  Every poem written didn’t have to rhyme or fit a traditional Japanese-style haiku form, or any other form, for that matter.  “No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.” ~ Edward Hopper (American realist painter & printmaker.)

~

I cultivate artistic expression with five basic steps.


Composition – placing together –

The musician, by placing notes together –

The writer, by placing words together –

The artist, by placing images or movements together.


Imagination – visualizing in your mind –

What do you see around you?

How do you reconstruct what you see?


Observation – focusing on the details –

Paying attention to people, animals, structures, colors and textures –

Using all five senses – seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and hearing.


Communication – imparting your view, insight, feelings –

Telling a story with your art work.


Recognition – showing the artist’s work – building confidence –

Display in a hallway gallery or on the refrigerator –

Print a book –

Make a recording or video.

~

“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to start where he was.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, essayist, and philosopher.

Blessings,

*Hop over to the Crew Blog, for more encouragement, ministry, information, and pure fun!  Just click the graphic below and follow the link…

Thanks for your comments.  I appreciate 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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Categories : Art, Blog Hop, homeschool, TOS
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Mar
19

Maintaining Biblical Standards

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I don’t read every book that my older children read, now.  When they were younger I did.  Still, I am mindful of what they’re reading, what music they’re listening to, what movies they’re watching, and who their friends are.  I know their friends by name.  I trust my children, at this age, to make wise choices, following the standards we’ve set, in their reading material, music, viewing habits, and relationships.  They also keep themselves accountable.  I can pick up the current book they’re reading, borrow their MP3 player at any time, go to the movies with them, or sit in on one of their gatherings. 

There are organizations, and companies that assist me, as a parent, in maintaining the Biblical standards that my husband and I set for our family.  They’ve put the time and effort into watching, listening, or reading, and reviewing for me.  Many of these are run by other parents, with similar standards, like Progeny Press.

 

 

 

Progeny Press was started in 1992, and is still family owned and operated.  They present good literature, teaching good literary analysis, measuring all things in the light of Scripture.  There are now more than 100 Study Guides available to instruct writers and readers in grades K – 12.

 

Study Guides can be found for Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, and High School.

They can be purchased Book-bound, PDF on CD, or email with attached PDF file.  The content is the same, no matter the form of delivery.

From $10.99 single guide to $27.99 book/CD set.

I have students using the Middle School Study Guide for The Cay, by Theodore Taylor –

“Eleven-year-old Phillip lives with his parents on an island off the coast of Venezuela in 1942, but when the Nazi’s begin torpedoing ships nearby, Phillip’s mother insists that he and she return to the United States. Their ship is torpedoed by a Nazi submarine long before they reach the U.S., however, and Phillip finds himself marooned on an island with an old, but strong, black deckhand named Timothy. But when Phillip goes blind from an injury, he slowly realizes how caring, wise, and resourceful Timothy really is, and the color of their skins is unimportant.”

AND other students using the High School Study Guide for The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis –

“Screwtape, an undersecretary in the Lowerarchy of Hell, has undertaken the guidance and tutelage of his nephew Wormwood, who has been assigned a human patient to secure for eternity. In a series of letters, Screwtape guides the young demon through the finer points of temptation, the weaknesses and foibles of human beings, and the disaster of his patient becoming a Christian. Though this certainly complicates things, the two infernal beings won’t let it stop them.

From this very skewed perspective, C. S. Lewis digs into the human nature, revealing some interesting, and sometimes embarrassing, tendencies. Touching on everything from sleeplessness to the “absurdity” of God’s love for humanity, Screwtape imparts his wicked wisdom to Wormwood. Though the mirror he holds up to humanity is warped and cracked, it is still painfully revealing. Wit and parody mask a very serious analysis of what makes humans tick; and though it may make readers smile, it will also make us squirm as Screwtape picks at the cracks in our facades.”

With each Study Guide, students need access to a good dictionary, a thesaurus, a Bible, and the internet or an encyclopedia.

It is suggested that the complete novel be read first.  We didn’t know how we felt about this, as opposed to reading the book and the guide together from the beginning, but it actually makes the use of the Study Guide a little easier.  I imagine the creators of the guides already knew this.  After reading the story, the student works through the guide with the book as a constant reference.

Prereading activities are offered –

  • Written report
  • Map work
  • Time line
  • Vocabulary
  • Art work
  • Biography

 

Each Study Guide covers relative information

  • Story Synopsis
  • About the Author
  • Background/Setting

 

Did I mention that Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature are interactive for 4th – 12th grade?  They can still be printed, if you like, but the student has the capability of placing answers directly on the PC and saving his work as he progresses.  The parent/teacher is able to grade the work in the same  manner, on the PC, and leave notes or comments.  My children love it!  Especially, my son, who would rather do nearly anything instead of writing.  The Study Guides are designed so he can clearly work through the questions and vocabulary, give his attention to critical analysis, dig deeper and consider the issues portrayed in the story, while viewing each through a consistent Biblical standard.  In his case, he can give complete answers, because his biggest obstacle is removed – he’s released from hand-writing and has the option to type.  Amazing!

 

 

Optional activities include –

  • Presentations
  • Volunteer work
  • Essays
  • Research
  • Interviews
  • Brief report
  • Word search

 

Final essays are provided and post reading activities are discretionary.  High School credits are obtained 1/4 credit per Study Guide in 8 – 12 weeks.

 

(4) Completed Study Guides = (1) H.S. Credit

Click the graphic below to browse the Progeny Press Catalog.

 

 

 If you would like more information, please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post.  Progeny Press has a website that’s easy to navigate.

Also, read other reviews, from The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew members.

Comments or Questions?  Go directly to the source –

Contact:

Progeny Press

P. O. Box 100

Fall Creek, WI  54742

~

Toll Free  1.877.776.4369

or

Phone 715.877.9951 ext. 100

~

Email – progeny@progenypress.com

and


Follow on facebook

 

I have no doubt these will be the first of many Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature we’ll use.  Let me know which guide you choose, and what you think of it.

 

Blessings,

A trial period 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.

 

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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Mar
05

It’s a New Day!

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Wow, so much has changed since I began teaching my children at home, back in the dark ages, or so it seems some days.  When we began homeschooling there were few companies that wrote or published curriculum geared toward the unique needs of educating at home.  Now, not only are there several companies on board and promoting materials for homeschool use, but there are also online programs being created for this vast community.  It’s a new day for home education!

K5 Learning is an outstanding, online reading and math enrichment program!

 

Click the K5 graphic above for Sample Lessons 

Geared for Kindergarten through Grade 5, it is a student paced, individualized learning program, based on skill level, not grade level.  Even in light of other online programs we have used, my children agreed that K5 Learning is consistently challenging, but not frustratingly impossible.  I like it because it has repeated spoken instructions allowing even young students to work independently.

There are 1,500 reading tutorials with more than 3,000 activities, and over 1,200 math lessons and activities.  These are not random.  They are sequenced lessons that prompt continued mastery of the subject.  Each session is a 5-10 minute tutorial, then practice, and quiz over new material.

 

 Click graphic above for Math details

K5 Math is comprehensive.  It covers – Numbers & Operations, Geometry, Measurement, Algebra, and Data Analysis.  The Math Facts encourage “instant recall of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables.  Unlike computerized drill programs, K5 Math Facts does not generate questions randomly.  It records every response a child makes, continually analyses what facts your child has mastered or need further practice at, and generates questions based on that child’s needs.  This makes K5 Math Facts far more efficient at teaching math facts than a typical drill program.”

Click Math Facts graphic above to view demo

The Reading Enrichment encompasses Reading Curriculum & Comprehension, Phonics and Phonemic Awareness, Sight Words, Vocabulary, and Spelling.  K5 Spelling has a 150,00 word database, and “is far beyond your typical online spelling program.”

Additionally, K5 Learning keeps parent’s up-to-date with regular student progress reports.

Subscription rate:

per year – 1st child $199

additional child $129

per month – 1st child $25

additional child $15

K5 offers a 14-day FREE TRIAL that includes a reading assessment and a math assessment.

Click assessment graphic above for more information.

My crew mates have shared their opinions and you’ll find them by clicking the graphic below and following the link.

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

phone – 888.281.2145

 write –

K5 Learning

510-4438 West 10th Avenue

Vancouver, British Columbia

V6R 4R8

or facebook

I’m excited about the new options for home educators and I think you will be, too!  Please, follow the links I’ve provided and browse the K5 Learning website.  Let me know what you think.

Blessings,

A trial period 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.

 

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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