Story of the World
History , Social Studies / February 14, 2011

Story of the World Content: History Grade(s): K-4 Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: 338 Publication Date: 2006 Publisher: peacehillpress.com Common Core Aligned: ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** The Story of the World is told in the straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer’s trademark. This four-volume set covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. This read-aloud series is designed for parents and teachers to share with elementary school children. Volume 1: Ancient Times covers 5000BC to 400AD. Volume 2: The Middle Ages covers 400AD to 1600 Volume 3: Early Modern Times covers 1600 to 1850 Volume 4: The Modern Ages covers 1850 to 1994 Each volume also has an additional Activity Book that can be purchased for use alongside the Story of the World to flesh out the stories and history that your children are learning. Reading lists, activities, map exercises, and coloring pages give a more complete picture of life in ancient times are included in each 400+ page Activity Book. About the Author: Susan Wise Bauer was homeschooled for most of her life. She entered college at seventeen and…

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History Odyssey
Social Studies / February 10, 2011

History Odyssey Content: History Grade(s): 1st-4th (Level 1); 5th-8th (Level 2); 9th-12th (Level 3) Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 74-119 (varies) Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: www.pandiapress.com Common Core Aligned: No ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** History Odyssey brings to life the story of mankind through a comprehensive study of the literature, historical events, and geography of the time period. Each study guide is intended to lead the instructor and student through a year-long study of the Ancients, the Middle Ages, Early Modern, or Modern time periods. They provide the framework and structure for using and organizing many of the best resources available for history and literature. The study guides include easy-to-follow lessons that present history chronologically and include reading and writing assignments, map work, and activities. Each level of History Odyssey progresses gently, preparing the student for more complicated reading and writing. Level one History Odyssey guides are generally written for 1st through 4th grade students. (Modern Times, level one is recommended for grades 3 through 6. It is a more difficult course and bridges the gap between level one and level two courses.) Level one guides coordinate…

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IEW Teaching the Classics
Reading / February 8, 2011

/ IEW Teaching the Classics Content: Reading Comprehension Grade(s): K-12th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Extensive Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Extensive Cost: $$$ || ? Pages: 97 Publication Date: 2004 Publisher: iew.com ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** By using short stories as the models and the Socratic approach as the method, the authors systematically prepare you to teach character, plot, theme, and other elements of fiction and literary analysis. You can quickly equip your children with literary study tools that can then be used easily on longer works. Skills gained through this program will allow you to study any piece of literature. Includes a video seminar on 4 DVDs and a spiral-bound syllabus. Suitable for teaching all levels. Although this is meant to be teacher training, older students will enjoy viewing it too. About the Author: Andrew Pudewa is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses—with clarity, insight, practical experience, and welcome humor—issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills….

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IEW Student Writing Intensive
Reading , Writing / February 8, 2011

IEW Student Writing Intensive Content: Writing Grade(s): A (3rd-5th); B (6th – 8th); and C (9th-12th) Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: 100 Publication Date: 2010 Publisher: www.excellenceinwriting.com Updated Review: 01/02/2014 From Excellence is Writing’s website: Recorded live, this DVD writing course for students by Andrew Pudewa is comprised of four writing sessions on DVD. Each session presents structural models and stylistic techniques from our TWSS Syllabus. Included with the student handouts are complete teacher notes, source texts, and checklists providing fifteen comprehensive lessons to ensure your student masters each unit before moving on to the next. Since each lesson can take one to two weeks to complete, the entire package can provide 15–30 weeks of writing instruction. Level A: Grades 3-5 Level B: Grades 6-8 Level C: High School Picking up where the original SWI of that level left off, Student Intensive Continuation Course DVDs provide 32 more lessons to take your student through the rest of the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style writing units. Because the lesson plans are chock full of material, you can use this product for 1-2 years of writing instruction. All the student handouts,…

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Art of Problem Solving: The Basics and Beyond
Math / February 7, 2011

Art of Problem Solving Content: Math Grade(s): 7th – 10th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: No Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 272 Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: Mandelbrot. The first year of the competition didn’t go so well, so the trio decided to write their own math book to help students think deeper in math. That book is what we now call Volume 1 in the Art of Problem Solving series. The Art of Problem Solving is the classic problem solving textbook used by many successful MATHCOUNTS programs. It is not designed to be a curriculum that you can say, “Hey, let me substitute this out for 7th grade math.” Instead, AoPS Volumes 1 & 2: The Basics and Beyond are in-depth workbooks for students in grades 7 – 10 who are preparing to compete in math contests. Volume 1 is great for those just beginning to the competition adventure and Volume 2 is geared for high school kids ready for more of a challenge. On the surface, it might seem like the books are just a collection of math tricks. But, once you get into reading them and doing the problems, you realize the emphasis…

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Art of Problem Solving, Pre-Algebra and Algebra
Math / February 7, 2011

Art of Problem Solving Content: Math Grade(s): 7th – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Solutions Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$ || ? Pages: 600+ Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: www.artofproblemsolving.com Updated Review: May 26, 2015 Reviewer: Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. Looking for other Art of Problem Solving reviews? Find them here: Beast Academy for grade 3-4 Art of Problem Solving Basics and Beyond for grades 7-10 AoPS for High School and Beyond, include Number Theory and more If your student has completed a 6th grade math program and you’re looking for something more rigorous, the Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra and Introduction to Algebra could be a good fit. Be warned, though. AoPS unapologetically states: The text is written to challenge students at a much deeper level than a traditional middle school prealgebra course. Developed by the mathematicians who created the placement tests for each textbook. If you’re still stuck, you can contact AoPS staff and they’ll help you decide. About the Authors: Richard Rusczyk is the founder of the Art of Problem Solving website. He was a national MATHCOUNTS participant in 1985, a three-time participant in the Math Olympiad Summer Program, a perfect AIME scorer in 1989,…

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First Start French
Foreign Language / February 7, 2011

First Start French Content: French Grade(s): 6th – 8th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: 128 Publication Date: 2007 Publisher: www.memoriapress.com Common Core Aligned: No From Memoria Press’ website: First Start French is the perfect introduction to French for students at grade levels 6 through 8. Modeled after Memoria Press’ approachable Latina Christiana format, you will be able to teach your students the basics of grammar, help them develop a large vocabulary, and assist them in beginning to speak French. You will enjoy learning along with them as they practice conversation, reading and translation, and are introduced to French culture. The student manual introduces vocabulary, grammar, and translation, with practice exercises for every lesson. The teacher manual includes hints and guidelines to keep you ahead of your student. Quizzes and answer keys make it easy to check progress. A pronunciation guide and CD will give your student the guidance needed to develop a good accent. Six fun, traditional French songs help with grammar and vocabulary. About the Author: Danielle L. Schultz earned an MA from the University of Chicago in Social Service Administration. Her BA in Sociology (magna cum laude)…

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Latina Christiana
Foreign Language / February 7, 2011

Latina Christiana Content: Latin Grade(s): 3rd – 5th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: 88 Publication Date: 2002 Publisher: www.memoriapress.com Common Core Aligned: No From Memoria Press’ website: Each lesson consists of ten vocabulary words, a set of grammar forms, and a Latin saying. Exercises reinforce memory work, teach systematic grammar, and provide simple translation. Prayers, songs, conversational Latin, history lessons, maps, and games add interest and motivation. The Teacher Manual includes keyed copy of the student book and provides grammar overview, teaching guidelines, recitation schedule, scripted lesson plans, tests, keys, and background information on Latin sayings and Roman history. Both Christian and classical content. The thirty lessons can be completed in a year or longer, depending on age of student and experience of teacher. Latina Christiana was designed as a beginning course for students of all ages. This course was specifically written for the teacher with no background in Latin. About the Author: Cheryl Lowe graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in chemistry and from Western KY University with an M.S in Biology. Cheryl has had wide teaching experience teaching everything from phonics, reading, math, Bible,…

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Prima Latina
Foreign Language / February 7, 2011

Prima Latina Content: Latin Grade(s): 2nd – 4th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: 128 Publication Date: 2003 Publisher: www.memoriapress.com Common Core Aligned: No From Memoria Press’ website: Prima Latina was developed for young children who are still becoming familiar with English grammar and wish to learn Latin at a slower pace. The program provides 25 lessons, each including a grammar skill, 5 vocabulary words with corresponding English derivatives, a practical Latin phrase, and one line of a prayer that is learned in totality over five lessons. The exercises that accompany each lesson are thorough and provide constant review of materials learned throughout the course. After each five lessons, a review chapter summarizes the material covered and provides a keyed test to insure mastery. With grammar lessons appropriate for primary grades and an easy to read two color format, Prima Latina is the perfect choice for those who would like to start Latin early and lay the foundation of a rigorous language arts program. Prima Latina was written to transition directly into Latina Christiana, allowing students to complete an entire Latin sequence without missing important concepts or vocabulary. Prima Latina…

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Language Mechanic
Grammar , Writing / February 7, 2011

Language Mechanic Content: Grammar Grade(s): 4th – 7th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: N/A Teacher Involvement: Minimal Cost: $ Pages: 172 Publication Date: 2001 Publisher: www.criticalthinking.com Date of Review: 11/13/2013 If you’ve got a quirky kid who likes logic, enjoys word humor, and picks language rules up quickly, then Language Mechanic may be a good grammar curriculum for your family. Each individual lesson begins with an attention “grabber” – a basic fact which is then followed by three sentences: You Write; Reader’s Think; and You Mean (to say). The sentences illustrate a specific grammar rule and demonstrate how it can be misused or misunderstood. A simple grayscale drawing accompanies the sentences to help draw out the humor. A logic box follows, explicitly stating the grammar rule and why it works. Students then complete the Practice items with an adult before attempting the Your Turn section. End-of-lesson Challenge questions can be saved for the next day to reinforce the grammar rule. All told, individual lessons should take no more than 15-20 minutes. Each chapter concludes with a Unit Review, which you can use as a quiz, if you like. These 1-2 page review sheets offer editing practice, as students…

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