All About Reading
Featured , Reading / May 26, 2017

All About Reading Content: Reading Grade(s): PreK – 3rd Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement:Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 201 Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: From All About Reading’s website: All About Reading is a scripted, open-and-go program developed for busy parents, teachers, and tutors who want to teach reading in the most effective way possible. This program doesn’t require long periods of study, you don’t have to develop your own lesson plans, and you don’t have to stress over what to teach next—because everything is laid out for you, step by step. You’ll get solid grounding in how to teach reading without being overwhelmed. Your student will be actively involved in the learning process. This is a truly multisensory program; your student will learn through sight, sound, and touch. Everything is taught in context, and your student will apply what he has learned right away. Your student will be engaged in thinking, processing, comparing, and learning. Pre-Reading Program Designed for preschoolers and kindergarteners It feels like play, but your child will actually be learning essential pre-reading skills Level 1 Covers letter sounds for A– Z, plus consonant teams TH, SH, CH, CK, NG, and…

Ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Game Book
Extras , Featured / December 2, 2016

Title: Ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Game Book Content: P.E. Grade(s): 1st – 12th Religious Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: N/A Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: Publication Date: 2003 Date of Review: April 5, 2016 Common Core Aligned: No Review of Ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Game Book Gym class in traditional schools isn’t always a lot of fun. First, there’s the waiting. With 20 to 30 kids and only one ball at play in most games, standing around waiting your turn makes up a big portion of time in large-group physical education classes. Then there’s the mismatch between abilities when kids are randomly selected to compete against each other. What should be friendly competition can turn to serious teasing for some kids. For these reasons and more, many homeschool families figure that riding bikes and going for hikes makes a far better PE credit than what brick and mortar school kids get. Guy Bailey, the author of The Ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Game Book, disagrees. He believes – even for the least athletically inclined family – there’s more to PE than learning how to play soccer – and does a great job of helping parents see…

Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story
Featured , Grammar , Writing / August 26, 2016

Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story Content: Creative Writing Grade(s): 7th and up Religious Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: None Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$$ || ?? Pages: 328 Publication Date: 2016 Publisher: Wondertale Date of Review: August 26, 2016 Common Core Aligned: No Review of A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story: A Creative Writing Curriculum Not often will you get the advice to start reading a book on page 322, but that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you to do with A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story. There, you will find a Note from the Publisher, where parents get the straightforward scoop about this curriculum. I’m going to emphasize 2 points: Students will work hard to finish this course. Parents should expect to be part of the creative writing process. A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story is a workbook written for students. Switching between the narrative voice of the treasure-hunting Captain Yogger LeFossa and the objective voice of the curriculum instructor, A Pirate’s Guide jumps right into its pirate premise. Students are introduced to their role as Scurvy Spat, Captain Le Fossa’s new junior pirate. [If you’ve never read…

Beast Academy
Featured , Math / May 28, 2015

Beast Academy Content: Math Grade(s): 2nd – 5th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Solutions Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: 100+ each Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: Common Core Aligned: Yes Updated Review: May 26, 2015 Reviewer: Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. Let every math-loving family delight! The mathematicians behind the Art of Problem Solving are in the process of developing an elementary math curriculum. And, boy, are they on to something good! First, Beast Academy is primarily taught through a bright, colorful, comic-book style Guide Book. And being a comic book about math, it’s full of smarty-pants type humor. Even though you’ll be giggling, the math is no laughing matter. You get thoughtful dialogue that really delivers age-appropriate instruction in advanced math topics. Topics Covered 3A Shapes Skip Counting Perimeter & Area 3B Multiplication Perfect Squares Distributive Property 3C Variables Division Measurement 3D Fractions Estimation Area 4A Shapes Multiplication Exponents 4B Counting Division Logic 4C Factors Fractions Integers 4D Fractions Decimals Probability On the surface, the topics look like a typical elementary math progression using a mastery approach, but don’t be fooled. The Practice workbooks are full of thoughtful and well developed problems and puzzles that…

Everyday Learning Logic Puzzles
Featured , Logic , Math / February 5, 2013

Everyday Learning Logic Puzzles Content: Math – Logic Grade(s): 3rd – 7th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: None Teacher Manual: N/A Parent Involvement: Moderate Cost: $ || ? info Publisher: Updated Review: 04/17/2014 From Everyday Learning’s website: We’ve taken critical thinking activities to a whole new level by integrating content-area facts with fun, deductive thinking, table logic puzzles. Everyday Learning Logic packets come with a sample puzzle and step-by-step directions to help your kids learn how to do these kinds of brain teasers on their own. An answer sheet is in the back to help make your job a little easier. All of our logic puzzles have been kid-tested and edited for clarity and solve-ability. Find 5-puzzle packets for $3.00 each on the following topics: Halloween Thanksgiving Winter Holidays US Presidents Physical Geography Colonial History Be sure to check out ABC=123 Brainteasers, math-based logic puzzles called alphametics. These math puzzles appear deceptively easy at first glance, but can be very frustrating for students who have not been given some basic problem-solving skills to use. Alphametic problems require a great deal of mathematical reasoning to solve, which is why we’ve included an extra two puzzles in the packet with hints for…

Professor Toto
Featured , Foreign Language / January 6, 2012

Professor Toto Content: Foreign Language – Multiple Grade(s): PreK – 5th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$ || ? Pages: DVD & print components Publication Date: 2003 Publisher: Updated Review: May 6, 2014 From Professor Toto’s website: Professor Toto is a series of multi-award winning language education tools for ages 2 to 8. Animated DVDs, song-filled CDs, and colorful workbooks introduce a stimulating menagerie of characters who teach: * French * Spanish * Italian * Chinese * German Professor Toto uses the innovative Thibaut Technique®, the distinctive teaching method pioneered by Thibaut in 1973. His method allows kids to learn naturally, by hearing, not translating. First they hear, then they understand, and finally they speak. Thibaut’s method combines a carefully structured curriculum with a child’s innate love of play. Professor Toto brings a child’s mind to life with color, humor, friends, and action. Kids laugh, respond, and become emotionally involved so their minds’ absorb everything they are seeing, hearing, and saying. We created Professor Toto as a flexible learning tool so there are myriad ways for your child to enjoy his kit. Very young children are typically content with watching Professor Toto…

Mapping the World by Heart
Art , Featured , Geography / May 7, 2011

Mapping the World by Heart Content: Geography Grade(s): 5th -12th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$ || ? Pages: 188 pages Publication Date: 2010 Publisher: Review Updated: 5/7/2014 NOTE: Mapping the World with Art is often confused with the Mapping the World by Heart geography curriculum. From FableVision’s website: Mapping the World by Heart includes a set of maps and a comprehensive teacher’s guide that makes it easy to integrate lessons and activities into any class’s existing curriculum. The teacher’s guide provides a framework for teaching geography all year long, which can be easily adapted to meet your needs. It is laid out as a “Menu of Lessons”. “Appetizers” section includes lesson plans (like The Grapefruit Lesson) that help your students understand important geography terms and concepts.   “Entrées” section is the “backbone of the location and place segments of the curriculum.” It presents a group of map checklists for students, and the procedure for each lesson is approximately the same. Students use atlases or maps from outside the curriculum to shade and label blank maps. After those initial maps are checked for accuracy, review activities begin (including games suggested in a…

Spectrum Chemistry
Featured , High School , Science / February 17, 2011

Spectrum Chemistry Content: Science Grade(s): 7th – 10th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Minimal Cost: $ || ? Pages: 290 Publication Date: 2000 Publisher: Review Last Updated: May 28. 2017 Common Core Aligned: No ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** Spectrum Chemistry is one-year student-directed chemistry course is done three days a week, one of which is a lab day. It is the equivalent of an honors chemistry for college-bound students. The textbook is concept-oriented, concise, colorful, and pictorial. Daily exercises reinforce the concepts while challenging the students to derive solutions to real chemistry problems. There are 32 labs in the year. The labs come complete with everything you need to do them, except a gallon of distilled water. Ten quizzes are distributed throughout the course. A study guide is provided to assure that your student knows before each quiz for what he/she will be held accountable. About the Author: Durell C. Dobbins is a homeschool father and a scientist who wrote the Spectrum Chemistry curriculum with his children in mind. Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used Spectrum Chemistry? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.

Sonday System
Featured , Reading / February 17, 2011

Sonday System, 2nd Edition Content: Phonics Grade(s): K – 5th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Included Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: Packaged Kit Publication Date: 2088 Publisher: Review Last Updated: Common Core Aligned: ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** The Sonday System 1 guides beginning reading, writing and spelling instruction, reading intervention, instruction for English Language Learners (ELL) and is highly effective in the Response to Intervention (RtI) model. The Sonday System 1 provides a lesson template for instructors to teach the essential skills to their students in every lesson, every day. The system is an Orton-Gillingham based, systematic, explicit, sequential, and cumulative multisensory language instruction program which cements student learning into long-term memory. The system is easy for instructors to use and contains: a check for knowledge, five Pre-Reading and thirty-six Reading Levels, mastery checks and templates for creating personal learning plans. The concepts and elements taught in Level 1 are: Phonological Awareness, Phonemic Awareness, Consonant and Vowel Sounds, Vowel Pairs, Consonant Blends and Diagraphs, R Controlled Vowels, Vowel Consonant-e, Compound Words, Non-Phonetic Words, Spelling, Rules for English Language, Reading/Writing Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension. Before beginning Sonday System 2 the student should be…

REAL Science Odyssey
Featured , Science / February 5, 2011

REAL Science Odyssey Content: Science Grade(s): 1st-4th (Level 1); 5th-8th (Level 2) Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 250 (varies) Publication Date: 2013 Publisher: Common Core Aligned: No ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** Each book of REAL Science Odyssey is a complete one-year science curriculum. Each topic in the REAL Science Odyssey series is presented in an entertaining story-like format and is followed by hands-on activities along with background science information, parent instructions, labs, reading lists, journaling ideas, and websites. RSO Biology (Level 1 – 1st to 4th grade) The course is divided into three sections: the human body, the animal kingdom, and the plant kingdom. Students study the major body systems through making models and doing tests on their own bodies. Classification and the five kingdoms of living things are studied as students make an animal kingdom book. Animal kingdom labs include examining real worms, mollusks, arthropods, and butterfly metamorphosis. Students learn about the plant kingdom through looking at the makeup and function of seeds, flowers, leaves, stems, and roots. Each topic and/or subtopic will include 1 to 3 lessons complete with lesson story, labs, reading, and…