Experience History Through Music

Oh, Susanna, Yankee Doodle, Home on the Range, you  know the songs but do you know the stories and history behind the songs? There is so much history to be learned while learning about the music from the days of our ancestors. This year one of AJ’s assignments was to learn about the history of the song Yankee Doodle. I was surprised that there was not anything kid friendly that explained the history behind the song. Sure there were song books, but nothing that explained the song. We used a few different things and AJ understood the basics behind the song, but I really wished there was a better way to learn. Fast forward a few months and I was offered the opportunity to review Diana Waring’s Experience History Through Music. From the description it seemed as though these books would be exactly what I was looking for, and they were.

Experience History Through Music is a fun way to do just as the title states, learn history through music. There are three titles available in the Experience History Through Music series; Westward Ho! The Heart of the Old West, America The Heart of a New Nation, and  Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Each book  is soft covered and contains beautiful stories and pictures. The books each have between 13 and 16 songs and the stories behind them. Included in the back of each book is the sheet music and lyrics for the songs discussed in the book. There is not really an age requirement for these books, but older teens may find the music a little hoaky. AJ is 11 and enjoyed most of the songs.

Attached to the back cover of each book there is a CD. Each CD was professionally recorded with beautiful instrumental music and vocals.

AJ and I were given a physical copy of; the Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Westward Ho! The heart of the Old West, and all three CDs. We were given a digital copy of America The Heart of a New Nation.

Westward Ho! The Heart of the Old West contains music and stories that have a pioneer spirit. Songs include; Home on the Range, Gooey Duck, Westward Ho!, and many more.We both really enjoyed this book. It shows both the good and bad that happened during the times of the pioneers and really digs into American history. While we read the stories and listened to the songs AJ was learning so much, but she didn’t think of it as school work, she just thought we were having fun. Our favorite song in this book was Gooey Duck. Neither of us has ever heard the song before, but is is upbeat and entertaining. The story behind the song is really eyeopening to what the pioneers had to do to survive.

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder was the book I was looking forward to the most. Songs include; Wait for the Wagon, Buffalo Gals, Pop! Goes the Weasel, and many more. The pictures and stories in this book would make a great addition to any Little House study. We loved being able to hear some of the music that Pa played for Laura while they were growing up. It is full of pictures of the Ingalls family and the places described in the Little House books. I do have to admit though that out of all the CDs, this one was the one we liked the least. Some of the songs were a little slow and in AJ’s words kind of boring, but that is just the type of music it is.

America The Heart of a New Nation was the book we spent the least amount of time on, mainly because we don’t really enjoy reading books on the computer. The stories were great and even include Yankee Doodle. Other songs included in this book were, Oh, Susanna, Polly Wolly Doodle, She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain and many more. This CD was a favorite around our house, and if we were only going to be able to buy one book I think this one would have been our pick. The music was upbeat and fun and the CD contains so many of the songs we already knew.

All of the books were full of great information to help you and your child learn history through music. The books are available separately for $18.99, but for this month only you can get all three books for only $50. If you are going to be learning about American history, or if you just want to add in a little bit of fun these books might be for you.

Learn more about Diana Waring and her other great programs here.
Facebook:
Pinterest:
Google+:

Jump In!

Writing is the most dreaded subject in our homeschool, AJ hates to write. She not only loathes the physical act of writing, but the thinking process as well. I have tried a few different programs with her and most of them just didn’t click. When I had the opportunity to review Jump In: A Workbook for Reluctant and Eager Writers, I was excited yet cautious to get my hopes up.

Jump In is a two year writing program designed for middle school students created by Sharon Watson. The set contains a 248 page workbook for the students with step by step directions, and a teacher’s manual. The 80 page teacher’s manual contains a great deal of information about how to help your student get the most out of this program and an additional one year writing program that uses daily writing prompts. It also contains the answer keys to different skills in the workbook.

When we first received the books I took an evening and read through the entire teacher’s manual. The manual was actually interesting to read and gave detailed examples on how to use the program.  The best part was that the program is flexible. There was not a section that said you had to do writing 5 days a week or for an hour a day. It was up to me to decide how to implement the writing program. After reading the manual I learned that I didn’t need to do much teaching. Most of the work would be on AJ’s shoulders. The manual gave detailed examples on how to grade the different types writings and how to help the student proof read. For each type of writing there is a section that shows how to earn an A or a B paper all the way down to an F paper. I felt the grading section was very helpful even though we don’t usually use grade in our homeschool. It helped to put my expectations in check as I have been expecting too much when it comes to AJ’s writing.

We started off with the one year writing program that is included in the teacher’s manual, 10- Minute Writing Plunges. Listed in the book there are four different writing prompts for each week of the school year. Each day the student is given the prompt and has to write about it for 10 minutes. The writing is not graded, and on the fifth day of the week the assignment is to edit and polish one of the prompts from the week. We didn’t get off to a good start. I started the timer and left AJ alone to write, but she only wrote one sentence in the 10 minutes because she spent the rest of the time “thinking”. I decided the idea of 10 minutes was not going to work for AJ and I ended up changing the directions to a number of sentences she had to write instead. The prompts were fun and once I got rid of the time limit AJ did a great job. The prompts got her thinking and she wrote some fairly good compositions.

After a few weeks of using the 10- Minute Writing Plunges, we started on the workbook. AJ loved the fact that it was full of colorful writing and pictures and that the font was big enough for her to read easily.  She was excited to see how short the lessons were, but that they didn’t seem watered down. The first few lessons in the workbook only took her about 15 minutes each to complete. At first I wondered if it was enough writing. After a few days I saw her go from filling out lists about her favorite things to looking closely at writing examples and finally to learning how to write an introduction and conclusion.

While the daily lessons are short, they are practical, sequential, and make going to the next lesson fairly easy. Throughout the program students will learn the following types of writing;  prewriting skills, opinions,  persuasion, exposition, description, narration, and poetry. In the back of the workbook there is a section called Your Locker. This section contains helpful hints and checklists for each type of writing. The student uses this section of the book throughout the program to help proofread and polish their writing.

Overall, we love this program so far. Writing is still not AJ’s favorite subject, but with Jump In it is a little easier. From the two units we have completed so far I feel it is fair to say that using this program will help AJ to become a better writer. The lessons are short enough to hold her interest and there is not a lot of busy work.  There are so many different writing options that I don’t think AJ will get board with this program. I went in to this review excited yet cautions, but after using the program for a while I think we have found a great writing program that will help my reluctant writer not only learn to write, but learn to enjoy it a little bit as well. We will continue with this writing program next year and until we finish it.

Jump In is also available from Apologia and can be purchased as a set for $40. You can also view a sample on the website as well.

The writers for Home and School Mosaic reviewed three different writing programs from Sharon Watson, including two programs designed for high school students. Click on the graphic below to see the other reviews.

Care-giving While Homeschooling

We take care of my grandmother that had Alzheimer’s throughout the week and it can be very challenging but rewarding at the same time. Throw in having an injured leg that makes me hurt all of the time with trying to homeschool and some days are just crazy.

Grandma never knows how old she is. She will be turning 84 this week, but often thinks she is as young as only 10 years old….. and that can make for some interesting days. When we try to start our days sometimes she joins in on school work and other days she gets mad that AJ isn’t in a regular school. She really likes to listen to our read-alouds and often even talks about the stories, sometimes she even gets upset when we stop reading for the day.

I feel the most challenging part of being a care giver while homeschooling is our schedule. Things come up when we are in the middle of doing school work and we have to stop and tend to grandma’s needs. It can be something simple like watching her while she decides to wander in the back yard, or something like having to clean her up and shower her after and accident.

We never know when she will be awake or asleep. Some days she is up all night and goes to bed around 5am. Other days she sleeps all day, and then there are some times where she will be up for up to 36 hours straight. On times where she refuses to sleep we can’t get too much book work accomplished because I am too tired to teach and AJ is too tired to learn. That doesn’t mean she isn’t learning….. just that the book work aspect isn’t getting done. On those crazy days we stick to reading, watching videos on topics we are learning about, (YouTube is our friend) and playing games.

Is it all bad? No. There are a lot of great moments. I get to see grandma’s child like happiness when she sees something that she thinks is for the first time. We get to hear her tell stories of when she use to live on the county farm and her father use to tend the chickens. We get to see her in her own home living the best life she can. AJ is learning numerous life skills. She is learning about taking care of her family and how to put the needs of others before herself.

We don’t have everything figured out. Some days are stressful and overwhelming. I often feel sleep deprived and wish I could have a normal schedule where I knew what I was doing from day to day…….but right now we are where we need to be, doing what we need to do, and learning along the way.

Asia its People and History Review

Post Contains Affiliate Links Is Asia a mystery to your kids? When I think of Asia I think of the the well known countries like China, Japan, and North and South Korea. When studying history we normally take a unit study approach, so AJ has learned a little bit about China and Japan, but she hasn’t studied too many other Asian countries. She is a hands on learner who doesn’t like your normal dry boring history books. I am always looking for ways to make history come alive.
Book Cover of Asia its People ans History

We were given the opportunity to review a new book, Asia its People and History written by Bonnie Rose Hudson.

Photo of Author

We reviewed the downloadable version of the book which is available here in e-book format or here for the paperback version. The book is a 16 week homeschool history and geography book that is meant to introduce you and your child to the people of Asia. It is geared for kids 8-12. (although I feel older students would enjoy it as well) Throughout the book you visit 6 different countries; Laos, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Iran, and Vietnam. You learn about the country’s geography, a little history, how to pray for the people, and what life is like for Christians who live there. While the course is meant to last 16 weeks it can easily be adapted to fit the needs of your family by speeding up or slowing down as needed.

The layout for each country is a little different. Each country starts with a story about a young person living in the country. Then you learn about the geography of the country, a brief history, what life is like for Christians, and the people that live in the country. At the end of each story there discussion questions that are thought provoking. There are different activities to complete as well. AJ found them to be fun and enjoyable while I found them easy to complete and enjoyed the fact that there was little to no preparation needed from me. Some activities included cooking, puzzles, writing a letter, and a matching game. AJ’s favorite was the Bangladesh Animal Safari Game.

One thing you would see a lot of around Bangladesh is animals.

This book was very eye opening for both  AJ and myself, she couldn’t believe that people would be so mean and hateful just because someone believed in Jesus. Asia its People and History is full of stories that make you think. Sometimes they make you cry and other times they make you reevaluate your own life, problems, and relationship with God.  This book doesn’t sugar coat the bad things that happen throughout the history of the countries, or what it is like for Christians today, but it is written in a way that spares a lot of details. It gives a very human look at history by not just listing facts, but telling the story of children who are living in those countries . AJ enjoyed this book and learned valuable information that we other wise may not have learned about.

I would recommend this book to any homeschool, Sunday School, or co-op. The lessons are short and sweet but full of useful information. I honestly couldn’t find anything that I did not like about this book. It didn’t require a lot of writing (which is a huge plus in this house) and the lessons were very engaging.

E-book available now, printed version coming soon



Memorize the Bible Review

I believe that the Bible is the infallible and authoritative written word of God. When I was younger I was in Missionettes and memorized a lot of different Bible verses. The longest thing I had to memorize other than the statement of faith was 1st Corinthians 13. It was just one chapter but it took me a few weeks practicing every day. Once I finally knew it though I really knew it. I can still recite it today if I look over it for a second. I think memorizing the Bible is very important, unfortunately it is something that I haven’t made a big enough priority with AJ. I was given the opportunity to review Bible Memorization made Easy written by Kimberly Garcia, the same author that created the Write Through History Series that I reviewed a few months ago.

Bible Memorization made Easy is available in four different versions:

  • Memorize Philippians
  • Memorize the Sermon on the Mount
  • Memorize Galatians
  • Memorize Psalms for Praying 
The books are available in an E-book format for $15.99 or a printed book for $21.99. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 has always been a favorite verse of mine so we decided to review Memorize Philippians 
In Memorize Philippians there are 23 weeks of lessons to help you memorize the entire book of Philippians. Each week is designed the same, by reading, writing and with prayer you should be able to memorize the entire book of the Bible.  Here is how a week would look:
  • On Day one, students read the passage of Scripture.
  • On Day two, students read the passage. Immediately following, the passage is rewritten with approximately 25% of the words omitted. You fill in these missing words from memory.
  • On Day three, they read and fill in the missing words. Approximately 50% of the words are omitted.
  • On Day four, they read and fill in the missing words. Approximately 75% of the words are omitted.
  • On Day five, students write the entire passage from memory.
This program is geared for grades 6 and up, AJ is in 5th grade but we decided to give it a try any ways. While I love how easy the program is to use and think it would work perfectly for a visual learner, it just wasn’t the right fit for my hands on learner who doesn’t like to write. She is a child that needs to move, have music, and really understand what she is memorizing. Philippians has a lot of vocabulary that was just too difficult for her since the King James version is used. To be honest the amount that she saw she was going to memorize overwhelmed her a lot and she didn’t have her heart in the memorizing. In the past she has only memorized small verses here and there so I think that trying to memorize so much at one time was a bad idea that I should have thought about prior to agreeing to review this product.
I think this would be a great program for older students who have done some Bible memorization in the past. The way that the author has the program set up makes it easy to use; you don’t even need the Bible because everything is already written in the book. For the more disciplined student who has a desire to memorize an entire book of the Bible, this would be a wonderful tool. For this particular study I would actually recommend the E-book version over the printed book, if your child needs a little more time working on a section you can easily print extra sheets for them to work on. That is one of the great things about this program. If you need to slow down and take longer on a section you can. It is very flexible and lets you move at your own pace. 
Overall it did not work for my hands on learner, but I think it is a great product that is well written and would be helpful for the older child or those who are visual learners. Some of the other reviewers had amazing results there is a wonderful video at Hopkins Homeschool  that shows how one child had incredible results!
Find out what other reviewers had to say by clicking on the graphic below.

Kids Around the World Giveaway

I am so excited to have the opportunity to share a great giveaway with you! It is full of wonderful prizes (I wish I could enter) that would make for a very in-depth study of Asia. AJ and I have recently been reviewing a great history and geography book all about Asia. It is full of beautiful pictures and plenty of fun useful information. The book, Asia: Its People and History, is not available yet but it will be soon. So far we are learning a lot and having a lot of fun. Be on the look out for my full review of the book in a few weeks.

  kids around the world giveaway 2
To celebrate the upcoming release of Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson, I am joining my launch team friends to share a Kids Around the World giveaway, an incredible gift especially for kids between the ages of 8-12! This giveaway as a total value of nearly $335! Prizes include a Kindle eReader, a one-year membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, some wonderful unit studies and lapbook set in Asia, and books about missionaries! Here’s everything you could win: Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson ($6.95 value) From SchoolhouseTeachers.com:  One-Year Membership ($139 value) From the Asia: Its People and History Launch Team: Kindle 6″ eReader plus a $15 USD Amazon Gift Card ($84 value) Philippians in 28 Weeks digital by Stacy Farrell ($14.95 value) From Ben and Me — YWAM Christian Heroes Then and Now Books 1-5 Gift Set ($32.47 value) From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine — eBook Bundle: Missionary Geography, TOS WeE-book by Maggie Hogan and Diana Waring and Mary Slessor: The White Ma of Calabar, TOS WeE-book by Diana Waring ($3.90 value) and  August 2013 Schoolhouse Expo – Bonnie Rose Hudson: How to Write for The Old Schoolhouse and the TOS Family ($4.95 value) From Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett – Download N Go Bundle: Expedition China, Expedition Israel, and Kite Capers ($26.85 value) From A Journey Through Learning Lapbook Bundle: Asia and My Favorite Country ($9 value) From author, Gwen Toliver, Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures ($12.50 value) To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S. and Canada only (excludes Quebec), age 18 and older. Other Terms and Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reading Eggspress Review

Reading has been a difficult subject in our homeschool. I love to read and if I had more time I would more than likely spend it reading. AJ on the other hand has a strong dislike when it comes to reading. Ever since she was in second grade and was no longer “aloud” to sound out words, we have had a problem with reading. She likes to read easy books that are way below her reading level, but give her a long passage with no pictures and she will do one of two things. She will either pretend to read and then not be able to answer any questions, or she will take forever and by the time she is done she forgets half of what she reads. This year she is finally realizing that reading can be fun and she has started to even enjoy reading at times, but I was looking for something extra to help focus on her reading skills. Then we were given the opportunity to review Reading Eggs. At first I almost passed up the opportunity because I thought it was just for the younger set, but I was wrong. They have an entire section for kids ages 7 to 13 to help with reading and comprehension called Reading Eggspress.

Find out more about Reading Eggs:

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Here is a little more about Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress:

Reading Eggs

Full of educationally sound, fun and interactive activities, Reading Eggs focuses on the most fundamental skill needed in school – reading. Children from 3 –7 years or older children struggling with reading will enjoy the huge variety of reading lessons, activities and games that make up the Reading Eggs program.

In addition to the 120 reading lessons in Reading Eggs there is the Reading Eggs World which caters for children who already know the basics of reading but who still have much to learn about reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. In the Reading Eggs World, children have their own house to decorate, a big shop and an avatar that can walk and travel to many new destinations on Reggie’s bus. Children are able to choose their own adventure from a wide range of activities and places to go, including the following content:
 • The Story Factory – this gives children an introduction to creative writing and they can put together stories to enter in a weekly story writing competition.

• Driving Tests – has 15 sight word tests, 15 letters and sounds test and 15 content word tests. Children are rewarded for correct completion with a driving game.

• Puzzle Park – children can access 32 word puzzles and practice sight word recognition.

• Skills Bank – holds 96 spelling lessons that take students up to the end of key stage 1.

• Storylands – this area builds reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills and is perfect for children who have begun to read but aren’t quite ready for Reading Eggspress. It currently includes 20 e-books to read.

• The Arcade – includes 24 arcade-style games to be used as rewards to motivate children to keep learning. They need to earn Golden Eggs to play these so encourages them to work through lessons and educational activities before using the arcade.

Reading Eggspress

 Reading Eggspress continues the reading adventure by taking children to a brand new world designed for 7 – 13 year olds focusing on comprehension and grammar. Reading Eggspress provides a unique learning environment where students’ can improve their English language and comprehension skills in a way that is exciting and relevant.

The Reading Eggspress program uses a spinning island which instantly engages children. They explore a complete world with a wide variety of both learning and fun experiences. The range of activities motivate students to return regularly to complete lessons, compete against others, earn more rewards and improve their skills.

The Reading Eggspress website has an enormous range of learning resources, lessons, motivational games and e-books. There are 4 areas of the Reading Eggspress World:

 • Library – the Reading Eggspress Library holds more than 1500 e-books including illustrated chapter books, full-color nonfiction books and a range of classics. Children can search for books by topic, series, author, reading age or book title. New books are added regularly.

The Comprehension Gym – children complete a placement test when they first visit the Gym which places students at the correct level for their current ability. The Gym holds 200 interactive comprehension lessons over five broad levels from years 2 to years 6 with 40 lessons per year level.

The Stadium – children compete in real time against students from around the world. The exciting head-to-head contest tests skills in one of four areas – spelling, vocabulary, usage and grammar.

Apartment and Mall – children can use their golden eggs to buy avatar clothes and apartment furniture. Within the apartment all the trophies, medals and trading cards children have collected can be viewed and children can also complete a 100-level quest-style game to expand and refresh learning and earn more golden eggs.

Progress within the Reading Eggspress program is measured by the completion of targets. These are split over 4 levels and help give children some guidance and structure for learning and encourage them to use all of the above areas.

Both the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress programs have a comprehensive reporting system that tracks progress so that students and their parents can clearly see each child’s achievements.

There are currently over 2 million children using the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress program around the world and over 90% of parents surveyed have reported a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading skills.

Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress is a program that really works by making learning a fun, interactive and enjoyable experience for all involved.

How we used the Program
 

The problem I normally have with computer based learning is that AJ will spend most of her time playing with her avatar and looking at the things that she can buy rather than learning. Unfortunately that was also the case with Reading Eggspress. The times I had her go on the site independently I saw no progress. She changed her apartment and her outfits and “forgot” that she was suppose to try and earn eggs and complete lessons.

So while I would have liked her experience with the program to have been independent, that was not how it ended up working. I ended up sitting with her for every lesson. Once we got over that hurdle, our experience was a success!

Our goal each time she logged in was to complete a lesson and then complete a target mission. Missions included things like buying things, reading and reviewing books, and passing quizzes with 10 answers correct in a row. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety of the lessons and missions. When she logged in to the comprehension gym it gave her a choice of 10 different books each was a different lesson. She clicked on the one she wanted to do and followed the directions. Each lesson was broken down into a few different activities.

Here is an example of a lesson for the book The Fine Line.
Cover Story
Using the picture on the cover, you answer questions regarding what the book will be about.
Dictionary
You pick 3 vocabulary words from a list, find each one in the dictionary, and answer questions about the part of speech and correct usage in a sentence. You also practice alphabetizing.
Pictures have Feelings Too
Using pictures from the story, you answer questions about characters’ feelings.
 
Key Words
 Match vocabulary words to their definition to unlock locks.
 
Who, What, Where, and When
You practice telling the who, what, when, and where with a simple sentence. Then you answer the same questions regarding a small section of the text.
  
Reading
You read a few pages of the story.
 
Quiz
You answer 16 questions about the reading, vocabulary, and basic grammar skills
 
 
What I liked
 
I like how there are so many different skills practiced in each lesson. I like how although some of the lessons are similar, there is enough variety to keep AJ interested. I was also pleased with the fact that even though they are using the computer, they are made to look up the vocabulary words using a pretend dictionary on the screen. I feel that a lot of the questions forced AJ to read closer. Having the avatar motivated AJ to earn more eggs so that she could buy more things. The library section was full of books on numerous topics. A few times I had her search for books on topics we were learning about and almost every subject had at least one book that she could read. The best part was that AJ wanted to go on the site every day. Every morning she would say, “I need to do my Reading Eggspress.” I honestly feel that working with this program has improved her reading.
 
 

What I didn’t like

 
Although I liked the program overall, I found a few issues that I feel worth mentioning. I found the language in a few of the books very questionable. In fact in the book The Fine Line the words idiot, stupid, and jerk are all used on just the few pages that are read for the lesson. I personally don’t want my child to be reading that type of language and now wonder if I will have to preread lessons before she completes them.  I also found some of the quiz questions confusing and poorly worded. The biggest issue I had was that the way it is set up, it is quite easy for the child to just guess and not read. If they get a question wrong the same question pops up later. There is also no explanation as to why the answer is wrong so instead of learning from the mistake the child is just expected to pick the correct answer the next time.
 
 
 
While I listed a few negatives I think we will continue with the program for a while and see how it goes. Here is the good news……. you can get a FREE 5 week trial to see for yourself if the program is right for your family. Use this link www.readingeggs.com/create  to start your 5 week free trial.  While you are looking into the free trial, you can also check out the fundraiser that is going on from February 3rd to March 7th to help raise funds for The National Children’s Cancer Society.
  *NCCS will earn a minimum of $25,000 from Reading Eggs plus 100% of the donations collected by RTCC participants
 
Prices vary based on the length of your subscription. Click here to learn more about pricing options.


Read other team member reviews by clicking the graphic below.

http://homeschoolmosaics.com/giving-love-with-the-gift-of-reading-reading-eggs-review/

Valentine’s Day Math Printable

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I have seen a lot of great worksheets and activities geared for the younger elementary set, but not too many for the older group. I created two math activities for AJ and wanted to share them with you. They are geared for upper elementary students. Click on the picture to download your copy!

The first is a coordinate grid picture. I have a list of points that will form a simple picture once the directions on the page are followed.

The second activity is Candy Heart Math. Using a box of conversation hearts, a ruler, colored pencils, and a paper bag, a few different math topics are practiced. The topics include graphing, probability, measuring, perimeter, area, volume, mean, medium, mode, range, decimals, fractions, and percent. There is no answer key since everyone will have different results.

I hope your kids have a lot of fun working on math with these worksheets.

Write From Early Modern History – Review

Post Contains Affiliate Links

AJ’s weakest subject is writing. She actually hates to write and I would say that most issues that we have while doing school work come from writing. There are so many writing programs out there and just as many ways to teach writing. When I was given the opportunity, I was happy to review Write From History.

What is Write From History?

Write From History is an elementary writing program that teaches grammar, spelling, and history all at the same time. It is based off of Charlotte Mason’s methods and uses narration, copywork, and dictation to teach writing.

There are four different eras to choose from:

  • Ancient History
  • Medieval History
  • Early Modern History
  • Modern History

With the exception of Modern History, each era of history is available in either a level 1 or level 2. Modern History is only available in level 2 right now. Level one is geared for kids in grades 1 through 3 and level 2 is geared for kids grades 3 to 5. The level one books are currently only available in manuscript while the level 2 books are available in either manuscript or cursive.

While this is not a complete history curriculum it would be a great supplement to any program. We decided to review Write through Early Modern History Level 2 Cursive.

About the Book

Early Modern History covers 1600 to 1850. It starts with a passage about John Smith and ends with a passage about the Gold Rush. The book is broken into four different sections.

  1. Short stories
  2. Primary sources
  3. Poetry
  4. Folk Tales

The book is extremely flexible and can really be used however you see fit. The author gives a suggested schedule which has the child reading either a short story or a folk tale on day 1. After reading the passage the child does an oral narration and a short written summary about the passage. On day 2 the child completes copywork and grammar from the first day’s reading. The third day has the child doing studied dictation. On the fourth day the child reads either a primary source or poetry and does oral narration and copywork. The fifth day has more studied dictation. Each day takes between 15 and 45 minutes depending on the amount of reading and the length of the copywork.

You are encouraged to set your child up for success and make changes as needed. In fact children who have never done dictation are encouraged to start out with only one sentence and work there way up to a short passage.

There are really great passages in the book including Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry, The Declaration of Independence, George Washington’s Farewell Address, and many more. There is poetry from many different poets like, Henry Longfellow, William Blake, Isaac Watts, and more. Throughout the study children are exposed to many different types of writing. A lot of the reading in the book is way above the third through fifth grade level, but parents are encouraged to read the harder selections to the student.

What I liked

Flexibility! I love the fact that while you have an optional schedule to follow, you are able to make changes to fit the needs of your child. AJ has never really done dictation so the dictation passages were a bit too long for her to start with. I can have her write a smaller section and work up to the longer ones.

Clear Writing. So often in copywork I see the transitions in cursive writing done incorrectly. This book not only has it written correctly, but the font is easy to read. There is also ample space for copying the selections.

Directions in plain English. I have not read up on Charlotte Mason’s teachings and originally I was a little unsure of what to do for dictation and narration. The author spells it all out at the beginning of the book.

History is Studied in more depth. This is by no means a full history course, but I love the fact that we can read about what we are studying in history, especially the primary sources that bring history to life.

Great Price. The book is available for only $22.95 for an e-book or $30.95 for a printed soft cover book.

Things I would change / didn’t work for us

Grammar– While the book can help teach grammar with a color coding system, (circling nouns in one color and verbs in another) I feel a separate grammar program would be a better option for the older grades. There is not an answer key at this time for the grammar section which may be a downfall to some.

Appendix is not removable. The appendix at the back of the book says to remove it and use for student dictation. It would be great if the pages were either perforated or already out of the book. I was unable to remove them.

The Charlotte Mason method. Not necessarily a negative, but as of right now I don’t know how I feel about using copywork and dictation for teaching spelling and grammar. Many people use it and love the methods. I personally do not feel there is enough writing instruction with this method. For now I think we will keep our own spelling and writing program.

Final Thoughts

I love the variety of reading selections available. While I don’t think I will use the program to teach spelling, writing, and grammar, I do plan on ordering the Ancient History book to use next year as a supplement to our reading and history study. For us it would be worth the price for just the reading selections. Those that are familiar with Charlotte Mason’s methods would love this book.

http://themultitaskinmom.com/write-history-reviews/

Simply Put: A Study in Economics Review

Post Contains Affiliate Links

I have never taken an economics class or really thought about the subject very much. I love to learn new things though so when I was given the opportunity to review Catherine Jaime’s book, Simply Put: A Study In Economics, I jumped at the chance.

Catherine Jaime is a homeschooling mom of 12 who studied economics at M.I.T. She has written numerous books on many subjects including; Leonardo da Vinci, homeschooling, US history, travel, Shakespeare and more. You can find out more about her and her available books at her website.

About the Book

The name of this book says it all! It is a simplified version of economics covering a lot of different topics in plain everyday language. Although the book itself doesn’t go into great depths on any one topic, the author gives ideas and suggestions as to where more information can be found. This book is written from a very conservative point of view which is clear throughout the book.

Simply Put: A Study In Economics is a book that is meant to satisfy the half credit of economics that most high school students need in order to graduate. It was written by Catherine Jaime when she was unable to find a good economics textbook that she could recommend to high schoolers that didn’t put her to sleep. It is a 139 page book that includes 36 lessons, 8 appendixes, a glossary, review questions, a midterm and final exam. The lessons can be completed in either one semester or a year depending on how the subject is taught.

The book covers topics such as:

  • The difference between micro and macro economics.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences
  • Prices
  • Division of Labor
  • The differences between Capitalism and Socialism.
  • Markets
  • Minimum Wage
  • Price gouging
  • and more

Since the book is meant for high school students, I decided to do the study myself. AJ is only 10 and not quite ready to be learning economics. I sat down with the book and a tablet and began to read. I had originally planned on doing one lesson a day, but I was able to complete several lessons in a very short time. I read the lesson and answered the questions quite easily. I finished the entire book including all of the review questions and the two tests.

What did I think?

Overall I feel that the book is very well written. Throughout the book the author quotes many different economists and presidents and quotes sources for nearly all of her opinions. The way in which the book is written requires you to think. One of my favorite quotes from the author is found on page 60. She writes, “Sometimes we seem to forget that the Declaration of Independence talks about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – not life, liberty, and happiness.”

The book covers a lot of history while explaining economic topics. It also explains the Constitution and how it relates to economics. The appendix even contains a brief timeline of the Great Depression.

A lot of things in the book were eye opening. Appendix 2 talks about how the pilgrims tried communism and it failed!

Although I enjoyed reading the book and feel that I learned a lot of the basics of economics, I don’t feel that the book alone would be enough to cover a semester of economics for high school. Most of the lessons are less than two pages long with review questions ranging from only 3 questions for a short chapter to 10 questions for a longer one. I feel the book would be a great starting point and if the other sources recommended by the author were used in connection with possible reports and research that it could create a great course if study. I feel the author took a difficult subject and presents it in a way that not only makes sense but makes it not overwhelming either.

I feel that the book should also be read by others just to gain knowledge. I learned a lot of things while reading this book and it has made me think of things that I hadn’t previously thought of before. I would recommend this book to anyone who was going to take economics at any level.

Things I would Change

  • The one thing that really bugged me while reading the book was the fact that the review questions were at the end of the book instead of after the lesson. Its seems like such a  small thing, but having to search for the review questions after each lesson irritated me.
  • The formatting of the book. The way the book is formatted causes there to be large spaces between the words in some places. I found myself rereading the first lesson a few times thinking that maybe something was left out. I got use to it after a few lessons, but felt it was worth mentioning.  *When I was reading a sample of the digital copy, I did not see these same formatting issues.*

Where can you get it?

You can get a digital copy of Simply Put: A Study in Economics from CurrClick, the normal price is $16 but at the time of this post it is on sale for only $6.99.

Amazon also has the paperback version available for $17.55 and the Kindle version for $6.99. (prices are correct as of this posting)

In addition to the student book there is a teacher guide available that gives the answers to the mid term and final exam as well as a few activities to try if you are studying the book in a group.

Overall I feel the book is a great value, is well written, and will make your student think. While I don’t feel it would be enough as a stand alone curriculum, I think it can be made into one with some supplementing. If you are not a conservative this book is not for you! I will be keeping this book on my shelve and plan on using it when AJ starts 9th grade.

BOBLaunchTeamsDisclaimer