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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Progeny Press Review #hsreviews #Literature #StudyGuides #UnitStudies #ReadingComprehension

Progeny Press
Delaney is my writer and she has been trying to expand her writing by choosing themes that she wouldn't normally write about. One thing I thought might help her is reading good literature that she wouldn't normally choose for pleasure. When we were offered the Perelandra - eGuide from Progeny Press to review I knew it would be a good choice for her.

Perelandra is the second book of a space trilogy written by C.S. Lewis. You do not have to read book one Out of the Silent to enjoy Perelandra. C.S. Lewis wrote this book during WWII. While the Nazi regime was conquering their neighbors Lewis created his fictional characters to battle the evils with creatures on other planets.

The Perelandra -eGuide is 58-pages and should take eight to ten weeks to complete. Not only do you need the book Perelandra but as with all high school guides Progeny Press recommends you have a good dictionary, a thesaurus, encyclopedias, a Bible, and the Internet will be helpful sometimes.

This eGuide contains a section for all 17 chapters of the book, a note to the instructor, a book synopsis, background information on when it was written, information on C.S. Lewis, a synopsis of Out of the Silent Planet, prereading activities, an essay & activity section as well as additional resources and the answer key.

Progeny Press recommends working through the prereading activity of your choice while reading the book the first week. The next week the student will complete the rest of the study guide while using the book to reference. This works well because some of the questions require cross-reference with other parts of the story.

The prereading activities include reading other works to compare them to Perelandra, creative writing, research, biblical comparison, and more.

There are eight sections covering the 17 book chapters. Some of the sections cover one chapter, some cover two, and others cover three. They are all set up in the same way but with varying activities. They all start with a vocabulary section, questions, analysis, and a Dig Deeper section. Some of the vocabulary sections include fill in the blank, matching, writing out definitions. The question section are short answer questions about what was read. The analysis section contains more thought questions as we look at why things happened. Bible reading and writing about personal experiences are just a couple of the different things included in the Dig Deeper section.

The essay & activity section gives the student options for rewriting sections of the book, creating artwork from something described in the book, Bible reading and comparisons, and more to choose from. The additional resources include other books written by C.S. Lewis and ones that are similar to Perelandra.

This is not the first literature study we have used from Progeny Press so Delaney knew what to expect from it. This is something she likes to work through by herself. Sometimes we do literature questions out loud to further our discussion, but with these, she likes to work through them on her own The reason I wanted Delaney to use this eGuide is to help her break out of her writing niche. I like how Progeny Press helps you notice how authors create their stories and I'm hoping this helps Delaney. This is not a book Delaney would have chosen to read on her own, she has been enjoying it and she feels the questions in the eGuide have really helped her understand the themes and ideas in the book.

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New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wordless Wednesday Bridal Shower Cake

Code for Teens Review #hsreviews #CodeForTeens #computerprograming #programing #JavaScript

Code for Teens
I think it is important for every child to learn a little bit about computer programming. Even if they aren't interested in computer science they should at least have a little understanding of it. Code for Teens has a JavaScript course called Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming Volume 1.

This book is written directly to the student by Jeremy Moritz. He is a homeschool father of six so he knows that homeschool parents are busy and do not always have the time to learn something new to teach to their kids. A a lot of parents may not have the knowledge to help them with coding if they run into trouble. He also wanted his kids to be able to explain their code and write their own from scratch instead of just copying it directly from somewhere else.

This course can be completed on any computer running Windows, MacOS, or Linux. You will need internet access and the web browser Google Chrome to complete the course, you cannont use a smartphone or tablet. The 221-page book is very nice with glossy pages and bright colors. There are also fun cartoons throughout the book from Jeremy's wife Christine.

JavaScript is the most common programming language and is used in most websites. Each of the 10 chapters build on each other and things can be repeated as necessary, and all the answers are included in the back of the book. All important words in the text are in bold print and the definitions are included in the glossary. Since the book is written directly to the student they can work at their own pace checking their own work as they go.

The text is very fun and easy to understand. The chapters have hands-on projects, quizzes, drills, and reviews. To get started you only need to pull up Google Chrome and follow the directions in the book. The student will create a "workbook" to record and save all their information. The code that the student should write is blue text in the book and the response from the console is printed in red making it very easy to see what to type and what the response should be. There are plenty of explanations of why things work the way they do. Jeremy also includes comments about why programmers do certain things. He wanted to give students problems that they need to think through and come up with a solution. So he has the students create fun realistic projects that have varying outcomes. They are assigned the task of solving issues for age-related movie tickets, choosing menu options to create a soup, changing peoples responses to all lower case letters, and by the end of the book they can create games.

Alaina has been using Code for Teens: An Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming and is really enjoying it. She thinks it is fun and likes the challenges of finding solutions to the problems. I like that she is understanding why certain things work the way they do and why you would use them. This has been a great summer project for her and as of right now she is wanting to continue with Volume 2  for an introduction to HTML and CSS.

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Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming {Code for Teens Reviews}
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Math Refresher for Adults Review #hsreviews #MathEssentals #Math

Math Essentials
One thing I realized when we started homeschooling is that there were things I had either forgotten or didn't learn when I was in school. When my kids started high school there was so much I needed to brush up on and math was the main one. I recently received Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials and it would have been nice to have this when my older kids started high school.

Math Refresher for Adults
Math Refresher for Adults is a 270-page softcover workbook written by Richard W. Fisher. It teaches general math, geometry, problem solving, pre-algebra, and algebra. Starting with addition and subtraction it covers fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, integers, charts & graphs, word problems and ends with pre-algebra and algebra. It also comes with an access code to watch video tutorials for each lesson as well as advanced algebra tutorials.

This book is not intended to be used straight through unless you need to be refreshed on every math topic. The table of contents is very detailed making it very easy to find what math concept you need to work on. Each section is set up the same way. There are lesson pages, with a review page covering all the topics at the end. The layout of each page is exactly the same. There are review exercises, helpful hints, additional problems, and a blank space for note taking. Most pages also include a problem solving question in word problem format. In the back of the book there is a glossary, answer key, and charts that include important symbols, multiplication table, prime numbers, squares & square roots, and a fraction/decimal equivalent chart.

Although this is a workbook Richard suggests writing the problems on a blank sheet of paper. He thinks this helps with accuracy and understanding. He also suggests that you should get an 80% before moving on. In each set of problems there are two Sample Problems. These two problems should be worked and checked for accuracy before completing the rest of the problems. This way you know if you understand the concept.

The video tutorials are taught by Richard W. Fisher. They vary in length but all the ones I have watched are short and get right to the point. Richard walks us through the topic as we see the problems on the white screen. He is great at making each topic very understandable, but if you miss anything you can pause or rewatch the tutorial.

I have been using this book myself. I started with the pre-algebra and algebra section because this is where my kids usually start having trouble. Delaney will be doing algebra this year and I know she will need some help so I thought I should refresh my memory so I can help her instead of her having to call her older brother. The lessons just like the video tutorials are very concise and get right to the point. There is no droning on and on about something so that you are lost by the time you get to the problems. Plus the helpful hints get right to the point and it is very easy to look back and see a hint I may need to read again. I didn't feel like I had to wade through a bunch of text to find what I needed. I also love the two Sample Problems. This is a great idea & lets me know if I am ready to complete the problems before spending time doing them and missing several or becoming frustrated.

I think this is a great resource to have on hand. Even if you don't need to refresh yourself before helping you kids, they may need it for review of topics before taking the SAT/PSAT or any other test they may need to take. Or even if you want to practice your math skills before re-entering the workforce or going back to college after you are finished homeschooling your kids.

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Math Refresher for Adults {Math Essentials}
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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Party Bird Island Swan Float #samsclub #cousins

While we were in Indian for the 4th of July we stopped at Sam's club to get some food for our big crowd. While we were there we saw the Party Bird Island and thought it would be a lot of fun. We figured it would either be fantastic or it would pop within a few minutes of use. We bought it and it was a huge hit. The kids played on it all week. They were in and out of it and it held up wonderfully. Each evening we would pull it out of the pond and tie it up so it would blow away.

Before we all left to head back home we deflated the swan and stored it in a large bag in the barn. Everyone is very hopeful that it can be used again next summer.

It was so pretty just floating in the water and everyone could see it as they drove down the street. This was well worth the price and my sisters and I are hoping they put them on clearance at the end of the summer because we thought it would be even more fun if we had 2 or 3 of them.

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