Animo: Once A Week Spanish Class
Foreign Language / May 20, 2014

Animo Spanish Content: Foreign Language – Spanish Grade(s): 3rd – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $ || ? Pages: 263 Publication Date: 2012 Publisher: Lulu Date of Review: May 16, 2014 Reviewer: Alessa Giampaolo Keener Animo is an elementary-level, introductory Spanish course. Like many foreign language classes for children, the focus is on helping students begin to speak about topics relevant to kids. The book is intended to be completed over two 12-week periods. By the time you finish, you’ll have learned over 300 Spanish vocabulary words and short phrases and be able to use them in the present tense. Parents with little or no Spanish background may be able to use this curriculum, if they’re willing to learn a new language along with their kids. Previewing the book will be helpful for novice adult Spanish learners so you can highlight important pronunciation notes, as they are sprinkled throughout the book. For example, notes for handling tilde and accent marks are introduced in Chapter 2. Students learn how to properly pronounce the Spanish alphabet in Chapter 9. And, chapter 10 discusses stressed syllables. What may seem like an odd approach to teaching…

Getting Started With Latin
Foreign Language / January 2, 2014

Getting Started With Latin Content: Foreign Language Grade(s): 4th – up Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: None Teacher Involvement: Minimal Cost: $ || ? Pages: 224 Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: Date of Review: 01/02/2014 Reviewer: Sarah Butler MacLeod Getting Started with Latin (Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age), by William E. Linney, approaches Latin gradually and, over 132 single page lessons, introduces the learner to basic Latin grammar. It’s not a full year of Latin, but it’s a fine and effective grounding in the language. With only one new idea per lesson, this is a gentle approach to a complicated language. Linney covers the first and second declension, two conjugations of present tense verbs, the concept of gender, and a handful of adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, and conjunctions. The vocabulary is relatively small – farmers, sailors, beasts, and women; build, sail, swim, and plow in a variety of combinations – but this decreased vocabulary allows the learner to focus on learning the grammar itself rather than on memorizing voluminous vocabulary lists. The content may not be the most scintillating material to translate, but this sound beginner’s text is entirely nonthreatening, an essential feature for…

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…

Muzzy Foreign Language
Foreign Language / January 6, 2012

Muzzy Content: Foreign Language – Multiple Grade(s): PreK – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: DVD, print & online components Publication Date: Publisher: Updated Review: May 26, 2017 From Muzzy’s website: Developed by the BBC, MUZZY’s “see and say, listen and learn” method patterns the way children learn their first language. MUZZY follows national foreign language standards which emphasize the use of functional language, repetition and “spiraling.” In MUZZY, words and concepts are first introduced, and then introduced again and again in many new contexts. Guided Immersion Learning Portal Children will access Muzzy’s simple easy interface that naturally guides them through the progression of discovering a new language. Self-guided learning makes it easy and delightful for your child. Animated Stories The cornerstone of the MUZZY program, the MUZZY Level I and II stories combine humor and adventure to keep children captivated as hundreds of new words and phrases are introduced and repeated in new contexts. Laugh along in Level I as Muzzy’s taste for parking meters gets him into trouble, and sit on the edge of your seats for the exciting helicopter chase that just may decide the…

Hooked On Spanish
Foreign Language / January 6, 2012

Hooked On Spanish Content: Foreign Language – Spanish Grade(s): PreK-K Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: Software and Book based Publisher: Updated Review: May 6, 2014 From Hooked On Spanish’s website: Our unique three-level learning system teaches new language skills through fun activities your child will want to share with family and friends. Hooked on Spanish utilizes independent instruction combined with interactive methods to teach basic words and phrases. Techniques include workbook practice, lovable characters to encourage correct pronunciation, stories and games for reinforcement, and other activities to keep the learning alive long after you’ve turned off the computer. Yellow Level: Hello and goodbye Numbers Saying your age Colors Shapes Red Level: Family members Greetings Parts of the body Friends Counting things Saying “I have…” Blue Level: Opposites Clothes Places in your neighborhood “Let’s go to…” “Where are we going?” Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used Hooked On Spanish? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.

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…

Spanish Is Fun
Foreign Language / February 19, 2011

Spanish Is Fun Content: Foreign Language Grade(s): 5th and up Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 400+ Publication Date: 2003 Publisher: Available in: French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish From Amsco’s website: ___ is Fun series provides students with a basal text that will help them attain acceptable levels of proficiency in basic communicative skills. The book provides enough materials for a one-year course in junior high school as well as beginning high school courses. Develops basic communicative skills through simple materials. Uses visual cues for learning and practice. Provides topical contexts to which students can easily relate. Teaches vocabulary through lively drawings that convey meanings of words without the need of English. Makes extensive use of cognates to show students that Italian is not so “foreign” after all. Presents structure inductively, guiding students into making their own discoveries and formulating their own conclusions. Features short, entertaining narratives and/or playlets that illustrate new vocabulary and structures. Rounds out lessons with illustrated conversations, personalized dialog exercises, and other practice. Makes cultural connections in the narratives, playlets, and personalized communicative practice. Includes review units after every four lessons featuring games, puzzles,…

Famous Men Of
Social Studies / February 18, 2011

Famous Men Of – Content: History Grade(s): 4th – 8th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $ || ? Pages: Varies, minimum 150 Publication Date: 2005 Publisher: Common Core Aligned: No From Memoria Press’ website: The Famous Men Of Series offers a year-long comprehensive workbook course. Each of the thirty workbook lessons includes famous quotes, a drill of key people and places, ten vocabulary words, 5-10 comprehension questions per lesson, and an activities section that includes map work, timelines, discussion questions, and art projects. The program also comes with 8 pages of supplements, including maps of ancient and modern Europe, a “Who Said That?” worksheet, and drawing pages. Famous Men of Rome: There are thirty stories covering the history of Rome from its founding under Romulus to the last emperor in the West. Your children will see the rise and fall of a great civilization through the lives of Horatius, Camillus, Caesar, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, and many other larger-than-life figures. Rome is the model civilization, the mastery of which provides a foundation for all other history study. Famous Men of Greece: Dive into the lives and minds of thirty famous Greeks through stories…

Life of Fred
Math / February 16, 2011

Life of Fred Content: Math Grade(s): 1st – 12th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $ || ? Pages: 128+ Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: Common Core Aligned: No From Life of Fred’s website: The Life of Fred series is designed as a complete math curriculum for homeschoolers, so there is no need to cram, squeeze, or expand the material in order to fit into some government 9-month program. When students finish one course, then they begin the next one. Fred’s Home Companion offers you daily assignments and can be used by parents as a study guide and curriculum planner. As a parent, you have ten or eleven years to gradually introduce addition, multiplication and long division. By the time your child is in, say, the fifth grade, the addition and multiplication facts will be memorized if it is gradually taught over the years. What’s to be avoided is beating the addition and multiplication tables into the child’s head. Life of Fred: Fractions is a reward for learning the tables. Elementary Series Apples (128 pages) Some topics include telling time to 5-minutes, shapes, counting by hundreds   Butterflies (128 pages) Some topics include cardinal…

Carbon Chemistry
Science / February 15, 2011

Carbon Chemistry Content: Science Grade(s): 4th – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 83 pages Publication Date: 2013 Publisher: Review Updated: 5/7/2014 From Ellen McHenry’s website: This curriculum is designed to be a follow-up to The Elements. The style of the text (including the bits of whimsical humor) are the same as in “The Elements,” but the student text is more substantial and requires more reading. Topics covered: A quick review of what an atom is, three types of atomic models, an overview of the carbon atom and its allotropes (diamond, graphite, buckyballs), introduction to organic chemistry (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, e.g. methane, propane, butane), refining of crude oil, isomers, saturated and unsatured molecules, functional groups (alcohols, carboxylic acids, aldehydes, ketones, esters, ethers), combination of functional groups (sodium benzoate, nitroglycerin, soap, pheromones), plastics and polymers, rubber and silicon polymers, carbohydrates (simple sugars, starches and cellulose), fats (saturated, unsaturated, trans and cis fats), proteins (amino acids, polypeptides, protein folding and its significance, the lock and key principle, structure of DNA), and finally the carbon oxides (like CO2) and the carbon cycle. (For those of you are “chemistry-shy”, don’t let this…