Review of The Complete Starter Kit from The Kingdom Code

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With The Complete Starter Kit from The Kingdom Code, I can teach my daughters money management skills with a Biblical context.  Because I know our daughter has been dreaming of creating her own graphic novels, I recognize she needs to understand about money management and more in order to be prepared to become an entrepreneur.

According to their website, The Complete Starter Kit includes the TextbookStudent Packet, and Teacher’s Guide. These three components are everything needed to teach one student The Kingdom Code curriculum, and the Teacher’s Guide makes teaching easy and fun!”  We also received the JR Budget Kit and The Kingdom Code Coloring Book to review as well.

The Kingdom Code is an elective designed as a 34-week course, (a full year) and ideally should be taught twice weekly for 45 minutes. It is Biblically based and has Bible verses in every lesson.  Parental guidance is definitely required especially for the first eight lessons, which take about a semester while the student is building their business from the ground up.  The students have to choose a mentor, create their business plan, and start their marketing strategies and work towards gaining money.  Lessons 9 – 27 focus on maintaining a ledger, create an income statement, make calls as well as write thank-you notes to customers, and more.

During the course, students examine everything from what The Kingdom code is to Building Treasure, to developing a business plan, to keeping records, to savings, to discovering their gifts, as well as taking charge of their life.  Periodically, they also look back at what they have done and accomplished.  At the stage our daughter is at currently, we wanted her to use this material more to get ideas rather than earning money currently.  She had been working on developing her “world” for her story but realized she needed to start all over in order to be satisfied since she recognizes that having the background world is important.

One of the key steps is finding a mentor, but so far we have been unsuccessful at that because of what she wants to do.  However, as a blogger, I can help with writing.  She has found people online to help with her artwork.  Plus, her father can assist with the business side of things.  So even though she is off to a slow start with her own business, she still is learning a lot from this course.

Because of the type of business our daughter wants to develop, certain things did not apply to her.  We knew from the beginning, she was more likely to find her customers through the Internet rather than phone calls and other traditional means.  Our goal in reviewing this course centered more on understanding money and business management rather than actually rushing to make money.  As parents, my husband and I both recognize the importance of our daughter learning how to create business plans, manage money, and determine how to market her products.

Here is a sample of the type of artwork she might include in her novels.

The Student Textbook is a 244-page spiral-bound book which includes economics, budgeting, historical entrepreneurship, consumer math, Biblical codes, life skills, and practical thinking in order to capture the student’s imaginations.  The lessons include many medieval ideas such as bravery, kindness, honor, integrity, and more.  Our daughter really enjoyed the content and how the lessons were presented.

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The Student Activity pages are contained in the Student Packet and include consumable worksheets for the students to complete.  Our daughter found these pages interesting and worth completing.

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Here are some sample activity pages our daughter has completed.

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The Teacher’s Guide breaks the 27 lessons down into 68 daily plans.  The lesson plans provide step-by-step instructions for the assignments along with providing suggestions and reminders.  The answers to the Activity pages and the worksheets are included as well at the end of each lesson.

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Our family appreciated how each lesson followed the same format and included Biblical passages.  Our daughter appreciated the details included in each lesson.  My husband and I also appreciated being involved in the lessons with our daughter.  Because my husband ran a business with his father prior to going full-time in the Army Reserves, he was able to offer a lot of insights to our daughter.  Since I have a degree in marketing, I will be able to provide additional insights to our daughter when we reach that stage.

Here are some pages from the coloring book.

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Here is what the receipt book looks like.

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As students complete lessons, they place stickers on the map to mark their progress.  Our daughter was not necessarily interested in doing this particular activity.

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We also received the JR KCK Budget kit as well.  This kit is designed for children who are too young to complete The Kingdom Code.  It is a great way to introduce younger children to the idea of money management.  Because we have some friends with children who could benefit from this, I plan on sharing it with them.  It includes stickers, coloring pages and more.  Here is a photograph of some of the pages.

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You can find The Kingdom Code on social media at the following links.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheKingdomCode/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thekingdomcode
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/thekingdomcode/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thekingdomcode/

In addition to money management and entrepreneur skills, the lessons also include character building activities.  Our family looks forward to completing the remainder of the lessons in this program.  So check out The Complete Starter Kit from The Kingdom Code, in order to teach money management skills with a Biblical context

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are also reviewing The Complete Starter Kit from The Kingdom Code this week.  Click here or on the graphic below to read additional reviews from other members of the Home School Review Crew.

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Review of Hewitt Homeschooling Resources’ Lightning Literature & Composition – British Christian Authors 19th-20th Century

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I loved using Lightning Lit from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources with our second son before, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review British Christian Gr 11-12  with our 16-year-old daughter.  This program provides a great opportunity for our daughter to develop both her composition skills and her literary skills at the same time.  For this review, we received the student guide and the teacher guide.  However, the program also requires the purchase of four additional unabridged copies of The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, Why Does God Allow War? by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, and Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Even though our daughter is in the 10th grade, she felt confident about her ability to complete the coursework.

Hewitt Homeschooling, since 1983, has functioned as proponents of homeschooling.  According to their website, “. Our emphasis includes combining excellent academics with character development, instilling the work ethic, and developing a spirit of community service in the next generation. With a current client base of over 30,000, Hewitt’s operation is currently divided into three sectors: services, testing, and products. Operating out of our facility in Washougal, Washington, we serve parents with students from kindergarten age through high-school.”

Lightning Literature at the high school level is meant to be covered over 18 weeks, however, we used a year-long pace since we were nearing the start of our summertime school schedule when this review started.  Both a semester-long and a year-long schedule are provided so families can use the one that best suits their needs.

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Students read, answer comprehension questions, complete literary lessons, writing exercises, along with reading articles which are sprinkled throughout the course that touch on late 19th through early 20th century British Christian Literature.  The four units, covering one of the four books, includes an introduction for the students to read, information about the selection, and information for while the student is reading.  Our daughter found these sections to be extremely useful.

Students are supposed to develop a vocabulary notebook and reading journal during the course.  For our purposes, instead of requiring our daughter to write everything out, we allowed her to complete the questions, vocabulary and reading journal on the computer using a word processing program.  I also permitted her to answer some of the questions orally to me rather than typing out her answers.

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The Student guide contains all the material the student needs to complete the course including an Introduction which discusses suggestions for reading and writing including brainstorming, outlining, revisions and citing research.  Suggestions for how to use the student guide are included along with Appendices that provide suggestions for Discussion Questions and Project Suggestions, additional reading suggestions, and schedules.  Plus there are suggestions for activities to enhance the student’s experience including developing a Vocabulary Notebook, a Reading Journal, Biographies and more.

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For each unit, there is an Introduction, Comprehension Questions, a Literary lesson – which for the first unit on C.S. Lewis is Writing a Five-paragraph essay.  Our daughter is working on narrowing her topic for her first essay on a hobby.  She is trying to decide between art and music.  We will see what she decides.  She plans on doing the brainstorming and outline for this first essay at the beginning of next week.

All of the Units follow the same basic pattern.  I look forward to reading and learning with our daughter throughout the remainder of the course.  She found the Student Guide easy to follow and easy to utilize.  For the Comprehension Questions, she found most of them straight forward, however a few required deeper thought and attention in order to answer.

 

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The Teacher Guide includes information about the Student Guide, the answers to the Comprehension Questions, Suggested Schedules for either a Semester Schedule or a Yearly Schedule, Writing Exercises, Discussion Questions, as well as project suggestions.  As one of our daughter’s projects, we decided she would memorize 1 Corinthians 13.  Our goal is to have her do a Bible Study with her father on fasting, but his schedule has not permitted that yet.

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You can find Hewitt Homeschooling Resources on Social Media at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hewitthomeschooling
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hewittonline
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hewittonline/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HewittOnline
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hewittonline/

If you would like to read our earlier review of Shakespeare Tragedies, click here.

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing various products from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources this week, click here or on the graphic below to read additional reviews of this product along with other products for various grade levels.

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Review of Memoria Press’ The Wars of The Jews Set (Grade 9+)

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My high schooler is using The Wars of the Jews set from Memoria Press as part of her Christian history studies.  Memoria Press is a company our family has used products from almost since the start of our homeschooling journey.  I love the Christian worldview and the way the materials are laid out along with the classical education perspective.

Memoria Press is a family-run business that was founded in 1994 by Cheryl Lowe.  According to its website, Memoria Press strives “to help promote and transmit the classical heritage of the Christian West through an emphasis on the liberal arts and the great works of the Western tradition. Memoria Press has developed a K-12 classical curriculum at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, Kentucky, where its popular Latin, logic, and classical studies courses are written and field-tested.”

As a mother, I love the concept of classical education and love my children gaining a Biblical worldview, so The Wars of the Jews set from Memoria Press fits our family’s needs perfectly.  The set includes a Teacher’s Guide, a Student Guide along with the reader.  Because we were approaching our move from our normal school year schedule to our lighter summer schedule, this set was perfect for our sixteen-year-old daughter.  The set is meant to be used over the course of several months.  Our daughter worked on the course about three days a week for around an hour a day.

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The Student Reader provides the basis for the course.  This softcover book includes 10 chapters about the Fall of Jerusalem based on the words of Josephus.  I love the size and type of font used in the reader because it makes it easy to read.  The inclusion of maps, photographs, and other graphics helped keep our family’s interest.

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The Student Guide includes vocabulary and comprehension questions along with facts to know as well as a review at the end of the workbook. All of these items help to reinforce what the student is reading and learning about the time.  My daughter and I found the questions to be relevant and fairly straightforward to answer.

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The Teacher Guide includes the answers to all the questions contained in the Student Guide along with a test for the end of the course and its answers.  I love how the pages in the Teacher’s Guide display exactly what the student will see in their Student Guide with only the addition of the answers to the questions.

I have to say our family was very pleased with this set and enjoyed what we were reading and learning about each day.  I would definitely recommend checking this course out for yourself.

You can find Memoria Press on Social Media at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/memoriapress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MemoriaPress
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/memoriapress/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/memoriapress
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/memoriapress/

You can read my previous reviews of other Memoria Press Products including by clicking on the title below:

Affiliate Program:

You can find out more information about their affiliate program here.

So if you are looking for materials from a classical education perspective, check out Memoria Press for yourself.

If you want to read additional reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew about The Wars of the Jews set, or some of their other products including Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) and Simply Classical Writing Book Two: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) with Teacher KeySimply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words,
The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History set, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review for Life With Dog from Mill Creek Entertainment

 

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For our family movie night, we watched Life with Dog from Mill Creek Entertainment.  As a parent, I am always on the lookout for quality movies for our family to watch, and the Christian movie, Life with Dog fulfilled our requirements.  We received a physical copy of the movie as well as a code to allow us to digitally download the movie from the site.

Mill Creek Entertainment is a provider of value-priced DVD movies and compilations.  Their product line includes both contemporary and classic films, television series, documentaries, kids programming along with independent films, fitness, and more.

This dramatic film is one hour and forty-six minutes long. Therefore I feel it may be better suited for older children and teens.  However, the film does not have an actual rating, I believe it is appropriate for ages 12 and up.  However, families can use their own discretion.  This drama opens with a scene of a bicycle crash and first-responders loading someone into an ambulance.  The film then changes to a scene of Joe Bigler, who is alone and missing his wife who died recently.

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This movie does an excellent job of showing how God meets us where we are in a way that is meaningful to us.  Joe’s wife Alice had all the faith, while Joe had all the doubt.  Without her and without faith in God, Joe lost his way.  Joe and Alice’s daughter, who also has faith, tries to reach her father but is unsuccessful.  She then tried to get their pastor to reach Joe, but that does not work either.  Joe completely resists all attempts to bring him to God.

Finally, a dog mysteriously appears in Joe’s yard and refuses to leave.  “Dog” as Joe names it succeeds at reaching Joe and helps him to start healing and finding faith.  Like many who suffer from horrible events, Joe wants nothing to do with God and religion.  I have to say our family appreciated how the storyline developed and details slowly emerged.

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There is a couple of scenes where Joe wields a gun while trying to get answers about his wife’s death.  But nothing he does seems to get him answers or closure.    In addition, to his wife the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death, we learn Joe and Alice also lost a son years ago.  These two instances helped develop Joe’s resistance to God and religion.  He reached out to God in both instances for help and did not get the answer he was looking for at the time.  However, Dog is able to help Joe find God and the peace he has been looking for in the end.

Our family appreciated Dog’s personality.  We loved how he nodded and more at various points in the movie.  He truly was the right dog for the job.  We also appreciated the scene where Norm comes to see Joe about buying the house, and Joe decides his name should be Chad instead.

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The most prominent and important message found in the movie for our family is one of forgiveness.  By forgiving the man who accidentally hit Joe’s wife which results in her death, Joe is able to move on with his life.

Oh and be sure if you watch the movie to not think things are immediately over when the credits begin to roll, or you might miss one of the best parts of the movie.

You can find Mill Creek Entertainment on Social Media at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MillCreekEnt
Twitter: https://twitter.com/millcreekent
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/millcreekent

So if you are looking for a Christian movie for your Family Movie Night, check out Life with Dog from Mill Creek Entertainment for yourself.  You can also find the movie on Amazon for rent or sale here.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew are also reviewing this movie this week, so click here or on the graphic below to read reviews by other members of the Crew.

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Review of Supercharged Science’s e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum

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Homeschool science can be so intimidating for moms to teach but Supercharged Science makes it easy with their fun e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum. With a sixteen-year-old daughter who is not a fan of the majority of homeschooling science textbooks, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make science come alive for her.  I have been following Aurora Lipper’s science videos for a number of years. However, when I saw she now offered the ability to go through either grade-level courses or to go by topics, I knew we needed to try this online homeschool science material.

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Supercharged Science is the creation of Aurora Lipper, who is a mechanical engineer.  Because my father was a draftsman and designer when I was growing up. her background impressed me.  The company offers science education to both families and teachers and helps people have fun while learning science.

 

There are two main ways to use this program:  first is by topics – so families can pick and choose what information they wish to study or second is by grade level.  Supercharged Science takes all the guesswork out of what to cover and arranged the material into appropriate grade level courses.  All of the high school materials are consolidated into the “Advanced Topics” section for the grade level material. 

The materials may be used as a stand-alone science curriculum or used in conjunction with your existing science materials.  In the case of using the material with an existing science material, deciding to use the topic arrangement will probably work better for your family.  However, if your family is using this program as a stand-alone product, then deciding the use the appropriate grade-level choice might be a better selection.

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With videos, worksheets, experiments and more this curriculum has something for everyone for K-12.  Because we are in the midst of finishing up our science curriculum for the year, for this review, we decided to select topics that interested our daughter.  I loved the fact the material is meant to be self-directed, so it required little preparation or oversight from me.  I love how this online homeschool science curriculum can be used by students of all ages.

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The videos included are of high-quality. We loved the variety and abundance of experiments to choose from for all of the topics.  However, I believe the sheer number of experiments could be overwhelming to many parents.  I love the advice of starting with an experiment or two to hook the students before moving into the videos and workbook pages.  We loved the advice of keeping a Science journal and taking pictures while completing the experiments.

Our daughter was more interested in watching the videos to gain scientific knowledge rather than doing the experiments.  Because we were using this as a supplement to our existing curriculum, I was fine with that decision.  She primarily concentrated on the Sound and Light units along with the Life Science units.  My plan is to have her do more of the experiments this summer when her father has more freedom and flexibility to do them with her.  Science and math are two subjects she prefers to do with her father rather than me.

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We are including pictures and videos for two of the experiments.  Our daughter wanted to make a lava lamp, but we ran into some difficulty because we had to improvise for the food coloring.

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The second experiment we are sharing is the Bull Roarer from the Sound unit.  For this experiment, we did not have any cotton string, so we tried some nylon string as well as some cotton yarn.  Here are some photographs from our experiment.

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My one wish for this curriculum would be the option of having the ability to complete the worksheets online rather than having to print everything out.  Because we are a military family and every pound counts when we move, I am trying to make our homeschool as digital as possible. So the idea of having to consistently print things out somewhat bothers me. I understand the logic behind having a notebook to use as reference material or to demonstrate what material was covered, but I would prefer to be able to keep those records digitally so our family does not have to worry about anything happening to the pages. For right now, our solution was to have our daughter answer many of the questions orally rather than writing them out.

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You can find Supercharged Science on Social Media at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/superchargedsci/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aurora_lipper
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/superchargedsci/supercharged-science/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/auroram42/videos

 

This online science program is definitely hands-on and offers a large variety of choices for students and parents to choose from as well as a variety of ways to approach the material.  So if you find the idea of teaching science to be intimidating,  Supercharged Science makes it easy with their fun e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum.for yourself.

If you would like to read reviews of this program by other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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#hsreviews #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschoolscience #homeschoolmath #sciencelessons #homeschoolavtivities #homeschool #AuroraLipper #SuperchargedScience #STEM

Review of EdAlive’s Maths Invaders Online and Typing Tournament Online

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We received two one-year subscriptions for a typing tutor program called Typing Tournament Online and a fun math practice program called Maths Invaders Online from EdAlive.  With our children who are still being homeschooled being 16-years-old and 18-years-old, I was more interested in the typing program than the Math Invaders Online.  In these days and times, I believe that every person needs to have above average typing skills.  So I felt our children definitely could benefit from this program.  In addition, I felt my husband and I both could benefit from improving our typing skills as well as using this online program.

Because EdAlive is an Australian-based company, some of the language used will be British English rather than American English. However, our family did not find this to be a problem when utilizing this program.  We found logging in and beginning to use this problem to be quick and easy.  Their website states, “We believe that every child is special and that education gives them the best opportunity to live life to the fullest. That’s why our software and web sites make the highest quality resources available for all children to help them reach their learning potential”.

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With the Maths Invaders Online program, students work on essential numerical skills that are vital to every child’s success.  The program is designed for students ages 5 to 15.  It allows students/players to tackle a large number of problems in minutes.  It helps to develop automatic recall of important numerical math facts.  It is designed to be intrinsically motivating.  Players are able to select from a group of levels to find problems that fit their level.  It is designed to make learning fun.

Students select from the Galactic campaign, Space Rescue and practice.  By using the keyboard, players attempt to answer math questions correctly to achieve their objectives.  We found the graphics to be of high quality and fun to look at while playing.  Printable worksheets are also available as well.  From the menu, parents and players can see the leaderboards, the App library, tools and reports, help screen and more.  Students can compete against other players or the computer making it more interesting.

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Typing Tournament Online is designed for those ages 6 to adult.  I loved the fact that even adults can benefit from this program.  It allows players to begin at their current skill level and gradually introduces the whole keyboard.  Players move through the program at their own pace through 128 lessons, games, and drills.  The medieval tournament theme is highly engaging.  Our family appreciated being able to actually select a goal to reach by the end of the course and how it actively promotes using correct fingers on the right keys.  I know it easier to type faster when using proper finger placement.

Our family found this typing program to be worth using as well as being fun to practice.  The bright colors, the tournament concept and more makes this program fun to use.

Here are some pictures of the instructions for proper posture and more.

You can find EdAlive on social media at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdAlive/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/edalive
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/edalive/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/edalive.education/

 

So if you are looking for great interactive programs for reinforcing math facts and/or typing skills, check out EdAlive’s Maths Invaders Online and Typing Tournament Online for yourself.  Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing these two online programs this week so click here or on the graphic below to read additional reviews.

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Review of The Critical Thinking Co.’s Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT – SAT Book 1

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The Critical Thinking Co. makes studying vocabulary to get ready for the SAT and PSAT a breeze with Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 (Grades 8-12+).  This workbook contains 20 vocabulary lists along with 5 review lists.   The Critical Thinking Co. has provided our family with material to help our children develop Critical Thinking, Language Arts, Thinking Skills, Math and more through the years.  So I was confident this book would be useful for our 17-year-old son.  I want to ensure he has the best resources to help him prepare for getting into college and that includes preparing for the SAT and PSAT.

The Critical Thinking Co. provides resources for everything from Critical Thinking Skills to math to vocabulary to writing skills and more.  Their website states on their “About Us” page, “Since 1958, our award-winning products have helped students of all abilities achieve better academic results with highly effective lessons that sharpen the mind as they teach standards-based reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history.”  These products are guaranteed to produce better grade and increase test scores while being fun and easy to use.

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Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 (Grades 8-12+) is a 208-page book will increase vocabulary while stimulating your student’s imagination.  Each lesson teaches PSAT and/or SAT vocabulary words using definitions, pronunciation keys, parts of speech using several different activities including a story that involves students in a classroom.  Students complete exercises requiring critical reading and thinking skills designed to help expand their vocabulary. Correct spelling is emphasized with an activity that requires them to unscramble the word before writing the correct spelling.

Designed for the classroom, homeschool use, or even independent study, Vocabulary Virtuoso is a highly effective and fun vocabulary resource!  Our 18-year-old son found the activities to be age appropriate and for the most part enjoyable.  His favorite part was the puzzles because he loves working on any type of puzzles he can get his hands on at any time.

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Students complete 4 lessons followed by a review lesson.  Our family elected to complete a word list a week.  Each list includes the list of words for the week along with their definitions and sample sentences along with 6 parts to complete.  For Part A, our son had to pick the best word from the list provided on the page that best completed each sentence.  Then in Part B, he again had to pick the best word from the box provided to complete each sentence.  In Part C, he had to choose the best word from the block of words provided to complete the sentences in a story.  In Part D, he was given a sentence that he then had to unscramble letters and spell the word correctly that best complete each sentence.  For Part E, he had to write the best word from the box provided that was a synonym for the word provided.  Then in Part F, he was given the start of various sentences containing words from the week that he then completed based on his knowledge of the word’s meaning.

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We elected for him to complete Parts A – D on their own days and then complete Parts E and F on the final day of the week.  This system seemed to work well for our son.  Then for the weeks containing the Reviews, he had to complete three sections.  The first was a crossword puzzle, the second multiple choice questions and the final section was taking fictional book titles and selecting the best word to describe each book.

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The workbook contains both the worksheets as well as the answers.  I love how everything is self-contained. It means we do not have to worry about papers being scattered all over the place. Also, it makes it easy to just pick up the book and take it wherever we happen to be going on a given day.

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The lessons begin with a list of words and the definitions for them.  This feature made it faster to complete the assignments since our son did not have to refer to actual materials.  Another thing I liked about this workbook is that it requires students to learn the definition of a word, but then they had to use other forms of the word, which helps reinforce what they are learning.  Also, I appreciate that the assignments for every list are laid out the same.  Students know exactly what will be expected of them from week to week.

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We loved the variety of words included in each lesson. As I looked through the book, I found words that I was not sure of the meaning. So I can see this book benefiting adults as well as students. Truly, it is perfect for anyone who desires to increase their vocabulary.  Furthermore, the fact that each list repeated the same series of requirements made it easy to know what needed to be done.

You can find The Critical Thinking Co. on social media at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCriticalThinkingCo
Twitter: www.twitter.com/criticalthinks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/criticalthinks/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVEVNa6UpVqXxo_t5sbb7Q
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecriticalthinkingco/

Having already reviewed one product from The Critical Thinking Co., I was glad to be able to review this product. You can also check out our family’s Review of The Critical Thinking Co.’s Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 by clicking here.

The Critical Thinking Co. makes studying vocabulary to get ready for the SAT and PSAT a breeze with Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 (Grades 8-12+).  Also from now until December 31, 2019, you can use the following coupon code to save 15% on any size order along with free shipping.

Other members of The Home School Review Crew are reviewing this product as well as other products, so click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews from this fantastic company.

Review of Pathway to Liberty’s The Middle Ages Levels 3 and 4

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If you are looking for a history curriculum with a Biblical worldview then let me introduce you to the Pathway to Liberty’s  The Middle Ages, part of the Pathway to Liberty’s History Curriculum, from Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum.  This curriculum has 4 time periods and 4 levels for each period. I am always on the lookout for new materials for our family to use for history that do not rely on a dry, boring textbook.  I want history to come alive for our children.  Also, I want their knowledge of history to include the true beliefs and ideas of our founding fathers.

For this review, I wanted our 16-year-old daughter and our 18-year-old son to be able to do history together and at a level, I felt they would be comfortable with the work.  So we selected The Middle Ages and Levels 3 and 4.  Because I initially planned on my husband and I studying with our children, we ordered the digital version.  The materials come either in digital format (able to be used by multiple family members or physical materials to be used by one student.  For this review, we received the Teacher’s Guides for Levels 3 and 4, the Student Guides for Levels 3 and 4 along with The Chain of Liberty and The Chain of Liberty Study Guide.

Pathway to Liberty is the creation of Jayme Maccullough and it has levels for students of all ages.  This comprehensive, principle-based history curriculum offers a lot of material. Jayme MacCullough is a speaker, writer, Bible Study leader, and more.

Their website states, “Through education, we can change tomorrow.”.  The curriculum includes four years of materials and each year has four levels plus a teacher guide.   The four years of materials are:

  • Year 1 – Universal History
  • Year 2 – The Middle Ages
  • Year 3 -U.S. History
  • Year 4 – Worl History

And the four levels are:

  • Level 1 – K5 – 3rd grade
  • Level 2 – 4th – 6th grade
  • Level 3 – 7th – 9th grade
  • Level 4 – 10th – 12th grade.

Students are expected to do readings, watch videos, answer questions and more through over 26 weeks for each year.  Four lessons of history are to be completed each week.  The lessons will take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to complete.  How the lessons are completed can be customized to each family’s needs.  Students have the option to break the daily lessons down into smaller parts.  I have to say I wish this curriculum had been around when we first started homeschooling.  I love the idea of all 4 of our children working on the same material at the same time but at their own level.

For The Middle Ages, students begin with the Roman Republic and the Heroic Age of the Church and conclude with the Age of Exploration.

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For Levels 3 and 4, you need the Student Guide, the Teacher Guide, Chain of Liberty (book and study guide), along with some additional books, Internet access to watch the videos on YouTube, and a dictionary at the minimum.  Other books will be required as the course progresses.  If you decided to get the downloadable version, obviously a very good printer will also be necessary.

The Chain of Liberty and the accompanying study guide begin by taking a broad approach to exploring the pathway of liberty using past events.  In the next section, readers learn about Liberty from ancient to modern times including the ideologies of various types of governments along with the influence of the early church and the Reformation through the founding, exploration, through the eventual erosion of the American government.  The Study guide is the perfect accompaniment to the book providing students with opportunities to take what they are learning and make it their own.

 

The Teacher’s Guide provides information directly for the teacher.  It includes all four levels along with the requirements for each lesson.  The answers for many of the questions are supplied in the Guide as well.  It includes helpful directions and more.

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The Student Guides are designed for the students.  This is where they find their schedule for daily work, helpful information, reading assignments, questions to answer and more.  We loved how the digital version allowed us the option to print out the materials and place them in a notebook that our word studies and other papers could be added to as we completed them.  However, I found it easier to put The Chain of Liberty on my tablet to where we could take it and read wherever we went.

Our family enjoyed the reading assignments and doing the word studies.  When comparing the question from Levels 3 and 4, I could not find any real differences.  However, I obviously would have different expectations for my child doing Level 3 versus my child doing Level 4, especially when completing the Word Studies.  Here are some pages of the Student Guide along with some completed work.

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For the Word Studies, students need a Study Bible, a dictionary (our family has the Noah Webster 1828 dictionary), and a Word Study model.  One is provided in the Teacher’s Manual.  Our family found the instructions for the Word Study to be very useful and the video on the YouTube channel provides excellent instructions along with an example to help demonstrate the proper process for doing the Word Studies.

You can find Pathway to Liberty on social media at the following locations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PathwaytoLiberty/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pathway2Liberty
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pathwaytoliberty/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClVQD1kM1KnthMBWFTQ_AbQ/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pathwaytoliberty/

Our family loved the way this curriculum challenged us to think and expand our knowledge.  If you are looking for a history curriculum with a Biblical worldview then let me introduce you to the Pathway to Liberty’s  The Middle Ages, part of the Pathway to Liberty’s History Curriculum, from Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum.  I promise it will be worth your time.

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing other years and other levels of this curriculum this week.  So click here or on the graphic below to read some of these other reviews.

 

 

 

Review of Study.com and their DSST and CLEP Test Prep

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We received a 3-month subscription to Study.com to check out their CLEP and DSST prep materials.  I figured using the preparation materials would be useful even though we are not positive if our son is going to try testing out of courses for college.  The site provides CLEP Practice Tests, DSST Practice Tests, CLEP Study Guide, DSST Study Guide and more.

Study.com provides materials in everything from Language Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business Courses, Psychology, History, Humanities, and more. They offer products for Middle Schoolers, High Schoolers, and college ranging from popular tests to Teacher Certification, to Nursing and more.

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The CLEP and DSST materials are ideal for earning college credit.  Students have the option to use the courses as a full study program, an as needed review, or even as a supplement to an additional program (perhaps a homeschool course or even other test prep materials.  Students work at their own pace from either a computer or the mobile App.  For this review, our son used his laptop to work on the materials.

The CLEP materials generally contain about 15 – 20 hours of content.  The goal of the CLEP test materials is to spend about 1.5 hours a week on the contents over three months.  However, some families opt to use the materials only to brush up on their knowledge or may decide to go through the materials at a faster pace.

The CLEP section is the section we decided to concentrate on for this review.  Initially, we were looking at doing either the U.S. History course or the College Algebra Course.  In the end, the College Algebra course was our selection.  Our son began by taking a placement test.  Once the placement test was completed and submitted, we received the results of the test.  These results included Strengths and Weaknesses, which I appreciated.

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Once the students complete the Placement tests and review the results, they begin working through the actual course materials. Students watch a collection of videos, complete quizzes and chapter tests to improve their grasp of the materials. The students also have the option to retake the placement test to ensure they are making progress. This option also allows students to refine what they need to work on as they progress through the course.

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We felt the videos were of good quality, but they did not necessarily keep our son’s interest. He tends to do better with an in-person instructor rather than completing lessons on the computer.

As much as I wanted my 18-year-old son to enjoy this program, unfortunately, he found it tedious.  When I watched the placement quiz and the videos, I had to agree with him.  However, I believe the test-taking practice will be invaluable to him in preparation fr college regardless of whether he actually takes any CLEP exams or not. I do believe many families will find this site incredibly useful and worth spending time using.  For those students who love working on the computer and learning from videos, this site offers incredible opportunities with over 4,100 videos.  The ability to retake the quizzes and watch for improvement also impresses me.

You can find Study.com on Social Media on Facebook and Twitter.

So if you are looking for materials to help your students prepare for CLEP Tests or the DSST Tests, check out Study.com and their CLEP and DSST prep materials for yourself. Other members of the Home School Review Crew are blogging about these materials this week, so click here or on the graphic below to check out more of these reviews for yourself.

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Review of The Hamelin Stoop Series from 12 Gates Publishing

 

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We have been reading and re-reading the first two books in the brand new Hamelin Stoop Series from 12 Gates Publishing.  We received both Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge (Book 1)and Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna (Book 2).   As an avid reader myself, I am always on the lookout for books for our family to read.  So when I saw we had the opportunity to read this series, I was excited.  I planned on our sixteen-year-old daughter and our eighteen-year-old son reading these books as well as myself.

This young adult fantasy series by Robert B. Sloan includes adventure, danger, friendship, and more.  When I started reading the books, I was unable to put them down until I finished them. This is Mr. Sloan’s debut into the world of young adult fiction.

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The Hamelin Stoop series includes interesting characters, evil characters, unbelievable occurrence and more.  From the start of the book when we first met Johnnie and Simone, Hamelin’s parents, we had no idea of what a rollercoaster ride this book would take us on at all.  Forced to abandon their only child by pretending to throw him off a cliff and then leaving him at a Children’s Home creates dramatic tension and more.  The first book addresses Hamelin growing up from a baby to eleven years old.  He encounters a majestic eagle, a mysterious footbridge, a mysterious realm, and experiences he could not begin to imagine.

The second book finds him on a quest to help new friends find a powerful jewel and a beloved sister.  He learns of the war being waged between the evil Chimera and the mysterious Ancient One.  We also learn that appearances do not necessarily tell the true story.  Magical objects play important roles in helping the three accomplish their missions through teamwork and trust.

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This series provides ample opportunities for talking about bullying, fear, courage, change, and other characteristics and situations.  With people constantly leaving, Hamelin has to adapt to change. Yet in the case of the Hayleys’ becoming House Parents for the Children’s Home, they bring in positive experiences for all the children in the home. So for families facing change, this could be a good place to begin a conversation.

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The books contain a continuous storyline that carries on throughout the books in a way that keeps the reader interested.  I feel this book is written in a way to keep the interest of middle school students.  The language is appropriate for them as well.

The relationship between Hamelin, Layla, and her brother Bryan captures the essence of how families can arise without biological relationships. Because they are older than Hamelin,  they provide the role of being an older brother and sister.  We were able to discern there was more to Layla than what we first gathered.  Even when they leave the Children’s Home, they continue to look out for him.  The books illustrate how actions have real consequences, and helps illustrate how we need to take responsibility for our own actions.

Our family’s only real complaint with this series is that we did not like how the books seemed to cut-off abruptly and left us hanging.  The ending of the first book was acceptable because we already had the second book to read.  But the ending of the second book truly left us wanting to read more.  So I guarantee we will be investing in future books in this series.

You can find 12 Gates Publishing on social media:  on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

So if you are looking for middle-grade fantasy books that include adventure, check out the new Hamelin Stoop Series from 12 Gates Publishing.  And click here or on the graphic below to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew.

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