Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Literature

Review of Hewitt Homeschooling’s Lighting Lit & Comp – Shakespeare Tragedies & Sonnets

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With Shakespeare Tragedies from Hewitt Homeschooling high school students develop stronger composition skills while learning literary concepts to increase understanding how to read deeply.  For quite a few years, our second son – age 18 – has enjoyed reading Shakespeare for fun.  So when I saw the opportunity this review for Hewitt Homeschooling come up, I knew we had to take this opportunity.  For the purposes of this review, we receive the Teacher’s Guide and the Student manual that is consumable.  Four additional books are required in the unabridged form.  Those books are Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear.   This course is intended for students in grades 11 and 12.

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Hewitt Homeschooling offers this as a complete pack, which includes the Teacher’s Guide, the Student Guide, and the four books.  Or if you already own or can acquire the four books by William Shakespeare, you can just order the two guides.  The Student Guide is consumable.  So if you are going to have more than one student do the course, then each student will need their own student guide.

The Teacher’s Guide includes an Introduction, grading tips, and other relevant information about the course.  Checklists for various types of papers are included as well.  Grading templates are provided as well to help guide the teacher in what should be expected from their students.  I was impressed with the sample page of grading that was provided.  Here are some pictures of the inside of the Teacher’s Guide.

The student will be completing assignments including vocabulary, comprehension questions, and written papers.  Fortunately, the Teacher’s Guide provides a place to quickly and easily record all these scores in one place to make recordkeeping and scoring easy to complete. The guide also provides a weekly schedule for a semester or a year depending on your preference.  Each week the students are required to read and do certain activities. The schedules in the Teacher’s Guide clearly lay out the requirements for each week.

If you or your student prefer a daily schedule, the bullet points for each week will allow your family to adjust the expectations. For week 1, our son read the Introduction and the section on Williams Shakespeare in the guide.  So this could be done on one day.  Then the second day, he read the introduction to Unit 1, Lesson 1 for Julius Caesar.  Finally, the third day he had to read in Julius Caesar and answer the comprehension questions.  So this would easily break down into three days of work.

Here are some sample pages of the Student Guide.

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My son loves reading Shakespeare for enjoyment.  While he thought this course was well done, he would prefer to just read the book without the extra work.  But, my husband desires to learn how to analyze literature.  So this week, he has picked up the Student Guide and started reading it.  I have a feeling he will be the one to actually complete the course.  We also have two other children who may find this course in their schedule in the future.

In addition to this course, Hewitt Homeschooling offers curriculum choices for elementary students right on up to high school students.  They offer courses including Literature, Math-It, Winston-Grammar, State Chronicles and more.   One selection I would like our 14-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son to complete is their Speech Course.

Another service Hewitt Homeschooling offers is a paper evaluation service.  For a set price, your student will get up to 24 papers evaluated.  This personalized evaluation would be a welcome addition for any parents who do not wish to grade their students’ own papers.  This service is available for junior high and high school students.  All in all I have to say I was impressed with this curriculum and the idea of the paper evaluation service- even if my son was not as entralled by it as me.

If you would like to read more reviews for Shakespeare Tragedies or other choices offered by Hewitt Homeschooling, click here or on the image below.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Our Oldest is now 21

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Today our oldest son turns 21.  We have been so blessed to have him as our son.  Normally, I talk about his birth and so forth.  But today, I want to talk about some of his activities.  Specifically, I want to talk about him assisting at our church’s Vacation Bible School.  It began when they announced at church they were looking for volunteers.  He immediately stated he wanted to help – and his desire was to be a crew leader.  We managed to get him signed up in time to get the last crew leader post.  Our youngest son also decided to volunteer.

As a result of his younger brother, Jacob – our oldest and Joseph – our second son along with Nathan – our youngest son were all asked to help with decorating the church for Vacation Bible School.  Now in honesty, I have to say they were asked because they are all right around the six-foot mark.  So because they are so tall, they could have an easier time with reaching using a shorter ladder.

Then, Vacation Bible School began and my son’s crew absolutely loved him.  Other children even made various comments during the week about what a great leader.  From his days as a boy scout, he had to make a flag to carry around and he had his assistant leader and his boys all sign the flag.  He did a really great job with it.

When our family attended the closing exercises, I heard from various adults involved with Vacation Bible School how fantastic our boys were and what a great job Jacob and Nathan did helping.

I love all four of my children, but today I want to wish our oldest son blessings and happiness on his 21st birthday.

Posted in Church, family

Friday Wrap-Up

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For the past several weeks, our lives have revolved around various children helping first with setting up Vacation Bible School and then this week two of them have actually volunteered to assist with Vacation Bible School.  My three sons helped set up.  They are either almost 6 feet tall or over 6 feet tall.  They were such a blessing to the ladies in charge of decorating the church.

Then this week our oldest son was a crew leader for a group of children attending VBS.  Our youngest son has been assisting with the games.  I am glad for their willingness to serve.

So what is going on in your world today?  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in Homeschool Planning, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Organizing

Review of Homeschool Planetk

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Over the years I have used a variety of homeschool planners.  However, one that reaches the top of my list Homeschool Planet, I can do so much more than just creating assignments!  

Although you have to pay to use this planner, I love the peace of mind that comes from having everything online.  I do not have to worry about losing a paper planner or having something that spills on it and ruin it that way.

For our family, I selected the Words that Matter Lesson plan because it is a complete vocabulary program that I plan to incorporate our state’s requirement of spelling into with little effort.  The fact that this is a complete lesson plan, meaning no additional books or other resources are required makes things easier.  I was able to just select it, wait the allotted time and then add it to our lesson plans and assign it to our three children still in high school.  I can not wait for our children to use this plan in the fall.

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I love things that make my life simpler, and this planner does it.  It allows me to record all the events going on in our lives and even assign them to different people.  Here is a shot of part of today.

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I really appreciate the ability to color-code the things that are going on in our lives.  I can assign things to one family member for anything from chores to lessons to appointments and more.  With the different colors, I can easily glance at the calendar and know who is doing what.  I decided to have my calendar set to where I can see everyone’s schedule on mine.  This way I know what everyone is doing.  I am pleased that I am able to create separate logins for each member of the family.  Depending on the age of your children, you may want to allow this or not. My youngest child is going to turn 15 this year, so I plan on allowing our children to have their own access and be able to make changes to their own calendars.  Obviously, for my husband, I would do the same.  They have the ability to mark assignments as complete, which to me is a wonderful thing.

Here are some screen shots of my various family members.

Another thing I love about digital planners like this one is the ability to easily change dates for assignments without having the headaches of a paper planner.  I can easily select a subject from the planner and move assignments around if needed.  Here are some screen shots.

I definitely recommend this planner if you are looking for an easy way to keep track of everything in one place.  You can select widgets to help manage your family’s life such as shopping lists and to-do lists.  You can select widgets with a quote of the day or shopping lists, books you are reading and more.  So take a look at this wonderful program.  Do not forget by signing up now you can select a free lesson plan, but remember this offer is for a limited time. So visit Homeschool Planet  to find out more about Homeschool Planet.

If you would like to read more reviews, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Math

Review of Unlock Math’s Unlock Geometry Course

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Teaching high school math can be intimidating for homeschool moms like me so I was thrilled to have my son try UnLock Geometry from UnLock Math.  I am a former High School Math teacher, so I know about all the problems that come with teaching students math.  Over the years, our family has used a variety of math programs. So I was really excited to see the product review being offered.

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One of the details that impressed me most about this company is the level of customer service they provide.  Almost immediately after receiving the email informing us of our enrollment, I received a personal phone call from the owner of the company.  He impressed me with his concern about our family and our use of the course.  Since we have used online math programs in the past, I felt comfortable with my son using this program.

Each unit includes lessons, several quizzes, a unit review and a unit test.  So far there has been a quiz after every two lessons.  I feel this does a marvelous job of ensuring my son is retaining what he is learning while not providing an overwhelming amount of material.

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Each lesson contains a warm-up (which reviews material already covered), an instructional video, practice problems, problems to help the student stay sharp, reference notes, and challenge problems.  With the exception of the challenge problems, all other problems may be attempted as many times as needed for mastery.  Because this is an adaptive program, the student only gets as much practice as they need.  Another thing  I really liked about this course was the way the challenge problems only add to my son’s score if he gets it right.  If the answer to the challenge problem is wrong, it simply does not count at all.  The days my son got the challenge problems right, he was absolutely thrilled to tell me so.

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As a parent, I set up a parent account first.  Here is what the parent screen looks like after logging in to the site. On this screen, I can find tabs for managing students, courses, billing contact, credit card, payments, and passwords.  It is easy to navigate around the screens.

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I love how I am even able to navigate to my son’s dashboard while signed into my parent account.  This becomes very useful if my son needed to redo a section after I looked at his grade for a particular assignment.  One item that took a while to get used to for our family was how the grade book shows the average based on the total number of points possible for the course instead of for only what has been completed.

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My son has really enjoyed this program so far.  Because I aim for my son to master concepts, we have not gotten as far as I would have liked.  But, I know we will finish out the course.  He really seems to be learning a lot and does not complain about doing the assignments.   I also plan on having my 14-year-old daughter do the Algebra program potentially in the fall.

I love that the computer does all the grading work for me.  All I have to do is look online to see his progress and scores.

Here are some more screenshots I took.

Currently, Unlock Math offers, Unlock Pre-Algebra, Unlock Algebra, and Unlock Algebra 2 in addition to Unlock Geometry.  If you would like to read more reviews about Unlock Geometry or any of their other courses, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Review of the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series

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American history comes to life with the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series from Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.  When I saw the opportunity to review these books, I had to have them to add to our family library.  I have been a fan of Rush Limbaugh’s talk show for years.  So I knew our family would love these books.

Rush Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn Adams Limbaugh have written an amazing set of books that pull the reader into events from America’s past.  The stories are intriguing and pull the reader both into the current time period as well as major events from our history.  These books portray the true Christian background of our country.  With the combination of the present and the past, these stories have a definite dramatic flair that lends to being read out loud.  Every time I read a portion of these books to family members, the books enthralled our family.  The books provide laughter, humor, suspense, and all kinds of other emotions.

When the books arrived, they came wrapped in a beautiful ribbon tied in a bow.  So I had to get a picture with the ribbon.  The covers have amazing colors and details.  The paper inside makes the reader feel as though they have gone back in time.  These books contain amazing photographs, charts, maps and depictions of great events from history.  There are five books in the set.  Each one investigates important people, places, and events in American history.

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I planned on reading the books first and then having our children read them or possibly reading the books aloud as a family.  So as soon as the books arrived, I jumped right into reading the first book.  “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims” starts with the story of Rush Revere and his talking horse, Liberty.  Rush Revere serves as a substitute teacher at Manchester Middle School.  The story opens with Rush and Liberty aboard the Mayflower.  The story chronicles the events of the Pilgrims and Strangers on the Mayflower along with the crew responsible for getting them to their new home.  Myles Standish, William Bradford, William Brewster along with Squanto and Samoset are some of the important people mentioned from history.  This story includes traveling on the Mayflower right up to the First Thanksgiving.  Tommy and Freedom enjoy traveling with Rush Revere throughout time.

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The second book is “Rush Revere and the First Patriots”.  This book includes Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and even Paul Revere.  This story begins with the most unfortunate incident of Liberty bringing Benjamin Franklin to the present.  The idea of actually getting to talk to these fathers of the United States of America brings wonder and amazement.  Unfortunately, we have only gotten about half way through this story.  But we are enjoying it as much as the first book.  One of the key parts of this story is the introduction of a new character named Cam, who becomes a good friend to Tommy and also participates in the group’s time travels.

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The third book in the series is “Rush Revere and the American Revolution”.  This book begins in the year 1775 and examines the time of the American Revolution.  So famous individuals like Dr. Joseph Warren and George Washington play an important part in the story.  In the present, Cam’s father is serving in Afganistan and Cam is relatively angry about the situation.  As the wife of a soldier, I can relate to Cam and his father, especially since we have other family members and friends who have served in the military overseas.  The story also includes the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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The fourth book in the series is “Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner”.    In this book, our group from the future is “Rush Rush Rushing” to the year 1787,  Our time-traveling crew causes a major incident at the National Archives before traveling to the past.  I am really looking forward to reading this story.

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The final book in the series is “Rush Revere and the American Presidency”.  This book includes on of the time-traveling students deciding to run for school president.  So Rush Revere and Liberty take the students back to the start of the United States of America.  So it deals a lot with George Washington as the first president and the difficult decisions and issues the country faced in those initial days.

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These books do an amazing job of making the reader actually feel he or she is present at the time of the events being described.  At the end of some stories, a list of discussion questions can be found.

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These are books that should be shared and make excellent books to be read aloud. Another option is to buy them as audiobooks to listen to on long distance travels or for students who better hearing stories instead of reading them.  By visiting the website for Rush Revere, a variety of resources including specific ones for homeschoolers can be found.  Another section of the website I really liked is the section entitled Revere Riders, which includes a history of how the series began, book summaries, scholarships and even wallpapers that can be downloaded.

Our family definitely recommends this series.  If you would like to read other reviews from other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Blogging A to Z Challenge, Homeschooling, writing

Blogging A to Z Challenge – “L” is for….

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I am back with another entry in my blogging a to z series.  The letter for this post is “L”, which stands for Love, Learning, and Listening.

I love having my children around during the day.  I love the freedom and flexibility that comes with homeschooling.  We can spend time on things that actually interest the children in addition to the required subjects.  I want my children to love learning (even if they do not love every single subject.

Second, “L” is for learning.  I want my children to become engrossed with learning.  I want them to seek to gain knowledge and find things that interest them.  We can use methods of teaching and researching that interests them and involves them in the learning process.

Third, “L” is for listening.  I want our children to become active listeners.  So we use things like audiobooks to help them focus their ears on what they are hearing.  Also, I want them to recognize the importance of listening as well as being able to talk in a coherent manner.

So what does “L” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Internship Ideas, Real Life

Review for Apologia Educational Ministries’ Internship for High School Credit

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A well-planned internship can be a great way for a high school student to explore a possible career path and Apologia Educational Ministries has created Internship for High School Credit to walk students and parents through the process of a high school internship and determining high school credit for the internship.  I love the idea of my children gaining practical experience in areas related to the field they think they want to go into in the future.

When I saw the opportunity to review this product, I was excited for our family.  Over the years, we have enjoyed using many of Apologia’s products.  So I felt confident this product would be amazing and it did not disappoint me.  With a son who is about to turn twenty-one and three children still in high school, this seemed to be an excellent product to review.  Because of plans we already had for this summer and other commitments, I decided to review this product with the goal of having at least one of our children doing an internship either next spring or summer.

This review is being done from my perspective as a parent.  The workbook is broken into five sections. The introduction discusses the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship.  Also, it recognizes the need for students to have practical hands-on experience in addition to book work.  Instructions for using the workbook are included here as well.  I found the workbook to be straight-forward and easy to read.
The first section is about getting started.  This section includes determining the type of internship.  So in my oldest son’s case, he wants to be a Youth Pastor – so even though he is college-aged, this book would be a great program for him to work through and obtain an internship.  There are also suggestions for students who do not know what they want to do in the future.  My third son fits this category.  We have discussed the idea of him doing an internship and he is receptive to the idea. So once he is done helping with Vacation Bible School and then attending our church’s Youth Service Camp, I plan on going through some assessments online to find where his strengths and interest lie.  This way we can start to make actual preparations in the fall for an internship in either the spring or summer in a field that actually interests him.

Here are some examples of some brainstorming pages I did for my oldest and youngest sons as well as our 14-year-old daughter.

The first section provides information on interviewing, writing resumes, determining high school credit and even how to prepare for the first day.  All of these are important skills to know.  I know growing up I was glad to have my parents’ assistance with such tasks.  There are even suggestions for the first day.

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The second section includes information for parents.  The first part addresses contact the parents should have with potential supervisors.  It also stresses the importance of knowing and following the child labor laws for your state.  I found it helpful that parents need to make sure they know what hours students may work and how many hours are acceptable.  I also found it helpful this section points out safety concerns and that parents need to know the working conditions are acceptable.  Transcript documentation, course titles, grades and the number of credits to be earned are also discussed.   Here are some sample pages.

The third section looks at the first semester and includes worksheets for semester goals, weekly worksheets, performance worksheets, and skills gained worksheets.  Questions and activities are also provided for each week with a place for the supervisor to sign.  These worksheet pages also include helpful tips, quotes, and other helpful information.  End-of-Semester Work performance worksheets are also provided.  Here are some samples of these pages.

 

If the student is going to do another semester for the internship, additional worksheets are provided for that as well in Part IV.  A final writing assignment, thank you note suggestions and examples, along with a discussion about obtaining a letter of recommendation and how to update a resume are included.

The detailed records that are going to be accumulated through the course of the internship will provide valuable documentation for student records, portfolios or other required documentation for colleges or other organizations.  I feel confident my children will benefit from these pages in the future.  I look forward to actually setting up an internship for our third son in the coming months and seeing where the journey will take him.  Even if he decides whatever field he interns in is not for him, I know he will take away valuable insights from the experience.

If you would like to read more reviews about Internship for High School Credit or another one of Apologia Educational Ministries‘ products, How to Homeschool with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook), click here or on the graphic below.

 

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Posted in Blogging A to Z Challenge

Bloggin A to Z – “K” is for …..

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Today I am continuing my blogging a to z journey.  The letter for this post is “K”, which is for kindness and kingdoms.

One of our main goals in homeschooling our children is to raise them to be kind to others.   By homeschooling, we are able to volunteer in a variety of situations.  So my children have the opportunity to get along with all types of people in all different age groups.  We want them to recognize how important it is to be courtesy and friendly to everyone.

Another thing “k” stands for is the kingdom of God.  We want our children to serve God and advance His Kingdom.  We spend time in His Word daily.  We are able to control what they read, see and do.  We love seeing our children seek after His Will for their lives.

So what does “K” stand for in your mind?  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in #science, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Memoria Press’ Course – The Book of Trees

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We reviewed The Book of Trees but Memoria Press also offers Latin Curriculum from Early Elementary to High School!  We have enjoyed using various products from Memoria Press through the years for Latin and my daughter was excited to have the opportunity to review The Book of Trees. The set we received to review included the Teacher Guide, the textbook, and the student workbook.  We did not receive The Tree Book and the Peterson Guide, so my daughter was able to use the Internet for research instead.  While I see the benefits of these other two books, I feel that supplementing with Internet research worked well for our daughter.

I enjoy taking a classical approach to our children’s’ education, so Memoria Press fits the bill nicely.  My daughter does not have plans to go into any science field in the future, but she loves learning about science.  However, it needs to be presented in a way that captures her interest.  As soon as I showed her the description on the website she was excited about the choices for science courses.  I enjoy seeing her engaged in her textbooks.

This set is designed for grades 6 – 8.  I was thrilled to see how captivated our daughter was with this set from the moment we received it.  I opened up the box and she immediately began reading the textbook and then started completing the pages in the workbook.  The textbook gave her interesting facts to share with our family.  The workbook provided opportunities to show what she had learned.

She easily answered the questions in the workbook.  Once she finished labeling the parts of the plant she even took the time to color the plants.  When her father arrived home, she had to share what she had learned that day with him.  I love watching her excitement when learning something new. She shared with hi what she found interesting from the lesson.

This set teaches everything from taxonomy to plant respiration to plant morphology, photosynthesis, flowers, and fruits.  Each day, my daughter typically did the reading in the textbook and then the pages in the workbook.  For most students, I think reading the textbook one day, doing the workbook another day and possibly doing extra activities or research on a third day of the week would work well.  After each lesson, she was ready and eager to share what she had learned with her family.  I never had to listen to her complain about the work or indicate that she did not want to do it.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the textbook.

I like the variety of activities in the workbook.  These activities included reading and questions, diagramming and labeling, actual hands-on activities, identifying trees, researching trees, and even opportunities for sketching.  For a child like ours that loves to draw this course is a great fit.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the workbook.

 

Finally, here is a picture of a page in the Teacher Guide.

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Memoria Press provides a wonderful glimpse into botany with this course.  Even though my daughter has not completed the course yet, I know we will finish it.  I see us possibly doing Nature’s Beautiful Order, another course by Memoria Press later in the summer.  The fact the curriculum is a company that provides classical Christian homeschool curriculum is a wonderful blessing for our family.

If you wish to read more reviews about this course or other products from Memoria Press, click here or on the graphic below.

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