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Friday, August 31, 2012

Blogging Through The Alphabet

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Starting September 3 I am going to join my friend Marcy over at Ben and Me in Blogging Through The Alphabet. Each week for 26 weeks I will write a post using the letter of the week. Everyone who is participating can link up at her blog, so you can access all the alphabet posts in one place. If you have a blog you can join too.

I'm thinking some letters might be hard to come up with something......I better start thinking now. The letter "A" should be pretty easy for me. Can you guess what I might write about??




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Uncover Exciting History

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 We are studying American History in our homeschool this year, so when the Review Crew was offered 4 different books from Golden Prairie Press I knew which one I should pick. They all looked really good and I am thinking of ordering Heroines of the Past Bible Study while it is on sale.
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Uncover Exciting History reveals America's Christian Heritage in short, Easy-to-Read Nuggets. I received  PDF format of the book. It was very easy to download to my computer and then I emailed it to my Kindle Fire. I have been reading this aloud to all three of the girls (age 7, 10, & 11). We started out reading about Christopher Columbus & the Pilgrims with the book taking us all the way to the Great Depression & the Navajo Code Talkers in 25 chapters. There are 4 bonus chapters that tell us about Marco Polo, David Livingstone, Robert Falcon Scott, & Mothers Who Changed the World Through Their Children. At the end of each chapter you can dig a little deeper with questions, map activities, book recommendations, and even time appropriate cookbooks. 

This book makes for a great read aloud with my kids, it reads like a book instead of a textbook. The chapters are fairly short but contain a lot of information. We all really like that there are people included in this book that we have never heard of & now my girls want to know more about some of them. Amy Puetz makes us feel that the people are real by showing us a side of them we don't normally think about. Like the price that the Founding Fathers paid to sign the Declaration of Independence. 


Uncover Exciting History is a 184 page Ebook available in the PDF, MOBI, or EPUB format. The regular price is $14.95, but it is on sale until September 1, 2012 for $11.96. It is also available as a 6 X 9 paperback book for $18.95 with the sale price of  $15.16. There is also an MP3 audio book for $25.00 with the sale price of $20.00.

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Amy Puetz is a homeschool graduate and servant of Christ. She loves history & has always loved to learn about historical events and people who impacted their generation. Her company Golden Prairie Press was started when she wrote a historical costume book & then other historical books from a Christian perspective.


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Amy has written several other books, and the Review Crew had the privilege of reviewing Costumes with Character e-book, Ten Girls from History e-book, Heroines of the Past Bible Study e-book. Sail over to the Crew Blog to read reviews on them.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received Uncovering Exciting History free of charge, from Golden Prairie Press, to use with my children in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Time 4 Writing

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I have always tried to make writing an important part of our homeschool. My oldest daughter started keeping an art journal when she was very young. We always bought books with unlined pages, that way she could write and draw where ever she wanted. She wasn't really into creative writing but she would just write about what was going on in her life. She also loves to draw, so she would draw pictures of things that caught her attention at the moment in her journal too. All three of my younger girls wanted to be like big sister and started a journal when they were very little. They would draw a picture and write a couple of words. When they write in their journal it has always been for fun, I don't correct anything. I just wanted them to enjoy writing, and they do.

I think sometimes my kids get lazy when they turn in a writing assignment to be graded. They do a great job with their details, but they don't always pay attention to the mechanics of their writing. We have reviewed Time4Learning in the past & noticed that they also have a program called Time4Writing. All three of my girls enjoyed Time4Learning, so when Time4Writing came up as a Crew Review I was eager to try it. The hardest part for me was choosing which child to give it to.

Time4Writing is an 8 week graded writing course for elementary, middle school, and high school students. They can work through the program at their own pace, or there is a 4 week & 8 week suggested schedule to follow. Each student will get their own certified teacher that will grade the work & offer feedback to improve their writing. A 2 minute tour of the program is available as well writing samples to help you choose where to start your child. If you happen to choose the wrong course you may switch during the first 2 weeks. All the 8 week courses are $99.00 with 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Time4Writing also offers a Free Newsletter and Free Writing Resources.

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I decided to let Amber participate in this review, I had her write a paragraph so I could compare it to the writing samples to figure out which level to put her in. I decided she was ready for the Middle School Essay Writing. This course is divided into 8 units and can be completed at the students pace. It takes about 2 hours a week completing 3-7 activities per week.

Essay Writing Course Objectives by Unit:

Unit 1 – Expository Paragraphs
Students write a well-constructed expository paragraph
Unit 2 – Narrative Paragraphs
Students create a colorful narrative paragraph
Unit 3 – Narrative Essay
Students write a narrative essay using an outline or graphic organizer about an event in their lives
Unit 4 – Narrative Essay with Descriptive Language
Students use descriptive language to write a narrative about the most disgusting meal they have ever eaten
Unit 5 – Narrative Essay with Dialogue
Students write a narrative using dialogue to tell about a time they disagreed with a friend
Unit 6 – Expository Essay
Students write a five-paragraph expository essay
Unit 7 – Expository Essay Using Research
Students write an expository essay based upon research they do using a variety of sources
Unit 8 – Narrative and Expository Essays
Students write both a narrative essay and an expository essay to round out the eight-week course

The program is very simple to use. Amber would log in and once she clicked on her course title it will take her to the course syllabus. Each lesson has a separate link within the units. 
This is a screenshot of Unit 2. After Amber read the lesson the Viewed circle would be checked & after she submitted her assignment the Submitted button would be checked. The teacher would then grade her work and send it back with feedback. Every time an assignment was graded we would receive an email from the teacher to let us know it was ready. There is also a message box on the course homepage where you can easily send your teacher a message or see if you have one from her. You can see all the grades and comments from the teacher in the Grades chart and on the Activity report you can see the date each lesson was completed.  

Mrs. Gilg is Amber's teacher and she is really enjoying her. This is Mrs. Gilg's feedback on Amber's Narrative Essay from Unit 3, it is the lowest grade that she has received on any of her work so far. I really like the way Mrs. Gilg encourages Amber first by telling her what she did right. Then she explains what she did wrong & what she needs to review. Amber was a little bummed that she scored below a 90 on this assignment, but she didn't feel discouraged after reading the teacher comments.

Grade: 88.00 / 100.00




C: 93 M: 82 Avg: 88
Student McClanahan, your essay is well-organized. You have an introduction, body, and conclusion. You have included relevant supporting details to describe the event to your readers. Be as detailed as possible when describing events to your readers. Use the five senses and descriptive and figurative language. You will learn ways to expand your narratives with details in units 4 and 5. Please see my feedback below and apply it to future narrative assignments.
  • Please review the Mechanics Resource located on the first page of this course for tips on how to correct a run-on sentence. 
  • Please review the Basic Comma Rules on the first page of this course for tips on using commas after dependent or introductory clauses.

Amber really likes this program & her teacher. It has also been good for me to see where she is in her writing from someone trained to grade writing assignments. I always worry that I will miss something when I grade her writing. The course has to be completed in 8 weeks, but I like that you can work at your own pace. It gives us the flexibility we are used to.

Thank You Mrs. Gilg for being such an encouraging teacher. Amber has been very excited by your comments on her work.

If you are looking for a different level you can read those reviews on the Crew Blog
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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received an 8 week writing course from Time 4 Writing free of charge to use with my children in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers


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My girls are so funny, when we sing hymns at church they like to see who the composer or writer is. They get excited about a man named James McGranahan, because it is almost like McClanahan. :) They do this every time we sing from our hymnal, so now they recognize quite a few names in their piano lesson books. When I found out about Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers I thought it would be a great way to learn about hymn writers without spending a lot of time preparing. I was wrong....we not only learned about hymn makers, but we have a different outlook on the words to some hymns, had some great family discussions, and enjoyed our time in England. I think we will have to buy more books by Douglas Bond.

Every evening before bed I read aloud to my family. I love when we find a book that we can all enjoy, discuss, and learn from while I read. Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers was an excellent fit for us. I read this book out loud to my 7, 10, 11 year old girls and my husband. We all enjoyed this book & my girls begged me every night to read just one more chapter. I didn't let them see the table of contents or tell them who the next writer they would meet was until we started reading, this had them discussing who they thought it might be. We had the pleasure of learning about Thomas Ken, Isaac Watts, William Cowper, John Bunyan (I've read Pilgrim's Progress but who knew he wrote a hymn?), and many more. There were a few people we have never heard of but there are several included that my girls knew. If the composer was someone they knew they would jump up and get the hymnal or their piano book to show me the song they knew from that composer. This book also sparked a lot of conversation about Christians being persecuted for their faith and it showed us a little as to why they chose to write the way they did. Words in a song can take on a whole new meaning when you realize what some of these people were going through when they wrote them. We look at hymns from a different perspective now.

My husband will also join us for our family read aloud time if he is home. Where he grew up they were not required to have any music classes in school. When we started going to church the only knowledge he had of music was in the form of a tape or a dial on the radio. He couldn't even follow along in the hymnal and was very frustrated, so he didn't sing very much at first. One night while I was reading this book he was shocked to realize that hymns are poems with music.

In Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers we follow 2 teenage kids around England while they are there on summer vacation. They find a friend in an older gentleman who tells them stories about British hymn makers. The kids get to experience England while learning about valuable lessons in friendship, praise, and traditional worship. Douglas Bond makes you feel like you are actually there & Mr. Pipes is telling you the stories.

Douglas Bond teaches history and English in Tacoma, Washington where he lives with his wife & 4 kids. He has written several other books about hymn makers that are also available at Christian Liberty Press.

We received our 288 page book in the PDF format and transferred it to our Kindle Fire. It was very easy to transfer and I love the way it reads. It actually has page numbers on each page and when you tap the screen you can see that you are on page 200 of 288 instead of the location numbers. Ok, I love my Kindle Fire but I still love real books and this made it seem more like a real book.

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers-PDF is available at Christian Liberty Press for $8.79. It was first published in 1999 and is suggested for grades 7-10. The first 30 pages which includes the table of contents, forward, preface, and the first chapter is available to read at Christian Liberty Press.

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Christian Liberty Press was created 25 years ago to provide school materials for their own home education and Christian school programs, they now deliver products around the world. They are dedicated to finding, evaluating, and producing curriculum that express biblical worldview that are rooted in the Word of God.

There are 4 books in the Mr. Pipes series available at Christian Liberty Press. 
Now to decide which one we want to read next! 

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received a Kindle book of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers free of charge, from Christian Liberty Press, to use with my children in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist

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The more I notice & learn about our world the more I am utterly amazed at how awesome it is. All I have to do is look around and know that we have an awesome God who created it all. I have always believed in God, and never doubted his existence. I have never given much thought to Atheists, but I have heard more about what they believe in the last few years. As Christians we need to be able to stand up for what we believe & knowing a little bit about what others believe will help me teach my kids how to stand in their faith.

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In the book I Don't Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek argue that Christianity is more reasonable than all other belief systems & is more rational than unbelief itself. They guide the reader through arguments for the existence of a creator God with clear thinking. They examine the reliability of the New Testament accounts concerning Jesus and the final section deals with an investigation of the claims of Christ.

This 447 page book is available from Apologia for $16.00. A sample chapter and table of contents are available on their website.


PhotobucketApologia also offers their first apologetics curriculum for high school to go with the book. This study will prepare teens and young adults to defend their faith. The student will come across questions of absolute truth, demolish the follies of postmodernism, debunk moral relativism, and move toward inescapable truths of the Christian faith.

This spiral bound high school curriculum accompanies the I Don't Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST book and is available for $33.00. A sample chapter and the table of contents are available on their website. Following the recommended schedule you will complete this course in less than 9 months by taking 2-3 weeks to read each chapter and complete the assignments

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My girls are a little young to use this curriculum, so I have been reading through the book. I like that they discuss truth and if it can be known by giving a Road Map of "Twelve Points That Prove Christianity Is True". This book digs deep, but the stories that are told really help you understand what they are saying. I really like the tables & figures included throughout the book to help visualize the concept. The curriculum was written to help us understand & remember critical points using supplemental material, study questions, and activities to encourage discussion. I am not filling in the curriculum but reading through it really helps me understand the book. One thing I love about the curriculum from Apologia is they introduce you to so many people right in the workbook. They give us a picture of the person along with who they were & what they believe all on a gray box or page.

Each chapter in the workbook is divided into four sections:

  • Hook ~This includes questions to warm up your brain & reminds you what the book was about for this chapter. 
  • Book~ Here you will dig deeper by testing your knowledge and comprehension with questions from the book.
  • Look ~You will build on your new knowledge here with research & activities.
  • Took ~ This is where you learn to apply the concepts to your life and as a witness for Jesus Christ.

This curriculum would be great for any Christian, high school or older, that want to equip themselves with the knowledge to stand firm in their faith. I am looking forward to using this curriculum with my girls in a few years and learning right along with them.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist free of charge from Apologia, in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The American Bible Challenge

One of our favorite things to do together as a family is playing games. We like to play board games, trivia games, card games, and game shows on the Wii. My personal favorite is trivia games, I like mindless trivia but I really like educational trivia to play with the kids. One of our favorite games on the Wii is Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader with Jeff Foxworthy. We were all really excited to hear that he will be hosting a new game show called The American Bible Challenge.

About The American Bible Challenge

Comedian and author, Jeff Foxworthy hosts this studio-based game in which contestants compete based on their knowledge of the Bible. Utilizing current as well as historical references, questions will be drawn from the rich, dense narrative found in the world's best-selling book. The contestants will share their compelling back-stories and each team will be playing for a charitable organization. The American Bible Challenge is produced by RelativityREAL for GSN, with RelativityREAL’s Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and Embassy Row’s Michael Davies ("The Newlywed Game," "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire") serving as Executive Producers on the project. Nick Stuart and Maura Dunbar of Odyssey Networks are Consulting Producers.

About Host: Jeff Foxworthy
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy® Award nominee and the best-selling author of 11 books. Widely known for his redneck jokes, his act goes beyond that to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature. 

We do not have cable and the only time we will be able to watch the new game show will be when we go on vacation. I am hoping that they will come out with this game for the Wii & my 11 year old daughter wants to play the game & can't wait for the app that is coming soon.

I have a great giveaway to go along with the announcement of this new show. I am giving away a The American Bible Challenge T-Shirt & a Zondervan Quest Bible for one of my lucky readers. 

Premiers on the Game Show Network 
Thursday August 23 8/7 c.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR,Part 255:Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vocab Videos

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An extensive vocabulary is a wonderful thing to have, but knowing how to properly use the vocabulary we already have is even greater.

Vocab Videos combines videos and study resources to help students experience, learn, and master vocabulary. The short videos illustrate the meaning of 500 SAT and high school level vocabulary words. The digital study tools reinforce and test the students on what they have seen in the videos. You have access to quizzes with SAT style questions, a flashcard maker, worksheets, glossary, crossword puzzles, and teacher tracking tools.

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A good vocabulary is essential to reading comprehension, making students better readers, writers, and speakers. The 500 words that will be learned were selected on SAT research, and learning them can improve student scores up to 150 points.

I was planning on using this program with Amber & Delaney. They both have a large vocabulary & read above their grade level, so I thought we would enjoy this program. I really like the way it is set up and can see how it could be beneficial. Having the vocabulary word shown & read to you at the beginning of the video & then used in correct context at the end of the scene aids in remembering the word. We watched the first couple of videos and we decided as a family we would not continue with the program. We did not like the way the guy in the first set of videos was checking out his coworker and taking the Lord's name in vain. We do not allow foul language in our home in any form.

Vocab Videos is a high school program and educators get the first month free. The one-year subscription for up to 20 students can be purchased for $74.99.


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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received a one year subscription of Vocab Videos free of charge, in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thomas Jefferson This Week In History

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Amber loves history! She likes to find a history fact for the day and then she will find a book or encyclopedia about her fact and take it to bed with her at night. When the Review Crew was offered This Week In History from Thomas Jefferson Education I knew she would love it.

This Week In History is a daily resource that will take you on an adventure. Each day you will discover historical events in math, science, language skills, geography, current events, the arts, and more. The content bundle can be viewed online at Thomas Jefferson Education or directly from your email inbox. All the content can be search by date, topic, or key word.

This Week In History is a part of Thomas Jefferson Education and they believe in four phases of learning: core phase, love of learning phase, transition to scholar phase, and scholar phase. They also believe there are 7 principles of successful education. When they are applied, learning occurs for any learning style or interests. When they are ignored or rejected, the quantity and quality of education decreases. The 7 principles of great teaching are:
  1. Classics, Not Textbooks
  2. Mentors, Not Professors
  3. Inspire, Not Require
  4. Structure Time, Not Content
  5. Simplicity, Not Complexity
  6. Quality, Not Conformity
  7. You, Not Them
This Week In History can be used with every homeschool, no matter what style of education you normally use. If you are a planner you can review the coming week's resources to find what would fit in with your plans or search the archives by date to find what you need. You can also find what you need the day you are working or sit down with your kids and start learning together. It is recommended for grade K-12 but everyone could benefit from using it.

Included with the history facts are writing or discussion ideas and a list of resources. The resource include links for further information, activities, music, science projects, lab sheets, articles from magazines, games, coloring pages, and so much more.

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We are on our break from school and this has been a great resource for the kids to have fun learn with. Amber (age 11) is my history nut & she has used this more than Delaney (age 10) & Alaina (age 7), but they all three loved clicking on the links to learn more. They really liked that the topics were short but contained a lot of information and activities. This week has been one of their favorites, they learned about the Leaning Tower of Piza, magnets, Morse code, & they can't wait for silly putty tomorrow. The more we used TWIH the more we liked it. Each week contains a good variety of different history facts to learn and I was really impressed with the lab sheets and the content of the resources.



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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received an one-year subscription to This Week In History free of charge, from Thomas Jefferson Education, to use with my children in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Risk Review & Giveaway

Risk is the second book in The Quest For Truth series by Brock Eastman. We read the first book Taken back in January and I don't know how many times my kids asked me when the second book was coming out. I didn't want to pick who got to read Risk first so I read it out loud during our family read aloud time. It only took us a couple of days for me to read it because everyone kept begging for just one more chapter.

The four Wikk children continue the quest for their parents on the planet Evad. Their adventures take them to the top of a ziggurat and down into an underwater labyrinth while trying to hide from the Ubel. In the ancient jungle they discover extensive libraries and high-tech gadgets of an abandoned town. They must be constantly vigilant of the creatures that stalk them at night and like all children they must learn to get along. 

Risk is full of adventure and it was very hard to put down. I really appreciate Brock Eastman and his ability to write adventure in a clean family friendly format while maintaining normal qualities in his characters. I am always looking for good quality books for my children to read and Brock has become one of our favorite authors of all time. 

Brock Eastman never planned on being a writer, but God had other plans for him. He has written on the Adventures in Odyssey brand from Focus on the Family and started writing his first series, The Quest for Truth, in 2005. He is always thinking of his next story. 

GIVEAWAY
Two of my followers in the United States can win a copy of Risk. Winners will have 72 hours to respond to my winning email or a new winner will be chosen. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: P & R Publishing (May 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596382465
ISBN-13: 978-1596382466

Disclaimer: I received Risk free of charge from P & R Publishing to read & giveaway. All opinions are my own and I received no other compensation for my review.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Multiplication Made Easy


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I don't know how much time I have spent over the years working with my kids on speed drills and flashcards, but teaching my kids to memorize their multiplication facts has been a job. Alaina started using Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy and so far it has been easy.


Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy was designed to lesson the difficulty and minimize the time required in learning the multiplication facts. Facts for 0, 1, 10, & 11 are eliminated right up front because these are easy to remember. The commutative property is taught so children don't have to worry about memorizing 3 X 2 & 2 X 3 because they will understand they say the same thing. That only leaves 36 multiplication facts to be memorized. The 36 facts that are left are divided into 6 weeks and they are learned in a random placement. The placement of the facts have been carefully examined and tested and are suitable for high levels of comprehension and quickness in learning. Teaching them in random order forces the child to memorize the fact instead of counting on his fingers.

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The Multiplication Made Easy is a spiral bound book and can be purchased for $24.95. This book is a six week program with 53 pages of worksheets that are reproducible within a family. In the back of the book there are flashcards and games that can be torn out & used with this program.

I have been using this primarily with Alaina (age 7) but Amber (age 11) & Delaney (age 10) both wanted to be included in the games. The program has been very easy to teach and the worksheets are self explanatory & fun. Alaina likes some of the worksheets so much that she gets excited when we get close to her next favorite one, and Amber & Delaney even wanted to complete some. The directions for the Apple game were very easy to understand but there were no directions included for the Indian game although we figured out a way to play it. It does seem to be working because Alaina is memorizing the facts we have completed & I'm looking forward to her finishing the book.


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Crew members also received Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy so sail over to the Crew blog and read other reviews on addition & multiplication.
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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received Multiplication Made Easy free of charge, from to use with my children in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

King Alfred's English

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Who would have thought that reading about the history of our language could be so fun. King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do is a very easy read that contains a lot of information. I received the Kindle version of this book and found myself using my highlighter a lot. We have a pretty extensive home library and I felt we needed to have this book to add to it, so my physical copy is on its way.
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This 170 page book written by Laurie J. White is recommended for ages 12 and up, it is the only book that covers the history of our language below a college level. My girls are all under the age recommendation, so I decided I would read it myself first. I learned so many interesting facts that I was continually sharing them with my family. I think Amber (age 11) will love this book because of all the facts she can use to stump her 21 year old brother. I have added this to her reading list for this school year & the other girls will read it when they are older.

The capstone of the book is the story of how we got the Bible in English and it's influence upon our language.

  • What were the driving ideas behind the Reformation?
  • Are the New Testament documents really reliable and how do they compare to others ancient manuscripts?
  • Why was translating the Bible into English punishable by death?
  • ...and what does all THAT have to do with the history of English?
Did You Know?
  • The English were NOT British. In fact, they fought each other...a lot. And still today, if you call an English person British, he might very well correct you even though he knows you probably won't understand.
  • You probably don't pronounce the word "when" like your parents. When you say "when" and "win," do these words sound the same? If you're under 50, they probably do. If you're older, you may still pronounce the sound of the "h" and the words sound slightly different. 
  • The Brothers Grimm compiled German fairy tales, but they were also famous philologist (and what IS a philologist?)
  • There's a law for the way languages change that backs up Intelligent Design.
  • For over 300 years the official language of the English court was...French? Seriously. But the English were always fighting the French. That's true. Find out why.
  • There's a reason we write "knight" but say "nite," and you won't believe how they used to pronounce it.
  • It was once punishable by death to translate even portions of the Bible into English! Yikes!
  • Recent scholarship has shown that at least 80% of the King James Bibles is the translation work of just one man. Who was he?
Free supplemental material are provided for teachers and students. It is suggested that this can be counted as a 1/2 credit high school history course, or a combined 1/4 credit history and 1/4 credit English course. There are resource lists of books, movies, worksheets, and tests.

Laurie White is a homeschooling mom and English major. She started out writing an article on the history of English because she needed an empty-nest-filler when her children graduated. This article turned into 5-years  of research & a full-fledged book. She hopes that it will enliven your understanding of English and of our language in general, and most of all, be an entertaining addition to your children's homeschooling experience.

King Alfred's English is available for purchase as a softcover book or for the Kindle. The first chapter and the Table of Contents are available to read free online.



Would you like to read King Alfred's English? 

I have a coupon code to use at Createspace for the first 5 people who leave a comment on this post. It is good through September 2012 and will give you 50% off. That makes the book only $8.47.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received King Alfred's English free of charge, from The Shorter Word, in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Create Better Writers

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My girls love to write and have entered several book contests in the past so when the Review Crew was offered products from Create Better Writers I knew we wanted to try them.

Create Better Writers offer books and eBooks that show you how to teach writing and grammar to your K-12 students. They will become outstanding writers because it is taught in a way that makes sense to them. They offer a complete writing program or individual eBooks. We received How To Write a Paragraph, How To Teach The Five-Paragraph Essay, and The Homeschool Writing Action Plan.

How To Write a Paragraph is recommended for grade 3-Up. It can be purchased as an eBook for $7.99 or it is free with the purchase of The Complete Writing Program or How to Teach The Five-Paragraph Essay.

If your student can write a good paragraph they should be able to write anything. This eBook teaches you to write a paragraph using one simple trick. Once they have the trick down they can use it to write any assignment.


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How To Teach The Five-Paragraph Essay is recommended for grade 4-12. It can be purchased as eBook for $17.95 or softcover for $19.95. The step-by-step plan will help teachers show their students how a simple outline will help them master one of the most important life skills. Students will be able to organize their ideas, then write a five-paragraph essay in about an hour. This will prepare them for any writing test or class.


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The Home School Writing Action Plan is a complete writing program for grades 3-12, it is available as an eBook for $15.95 or softcover for $19.95. Once students finish this plan they will be able to write intelligent descriptive sentence, strong essays, research reports, and great stories, they will also have a well developed vocabulary and will be prepared for the SAT/ACT exams.

The plan is divided into 3 sections:

  • Writing Action Plan Summary: The entire program laid out in 15 steps.
  • Pacing Guide: Offers 3 plans for students to complete the 15 steps.
  • The Road Map: Will tell you what to look for along the way.


I started this series by reading through the Action Plan. This program is very easy to understand and implement. I started all three of my girls ages 7, 10, & 11 with How to Write a Paragraph. My oldest 2 can write a pretty good paragraph but there is a trick that is taught in this book that I wanted to them understand and remember. They picked up all the info in this eBook pretty fast and are now ready for the Five-Paragraph Essay. My 7 year old is going at this a lot slower, she could probably wait awhile before she started this but she likes to write in her journal so I thought if she learned the trick now it would help her keep her thoughts in order. I am looking forward to completing this program with my girls and I am hopeful that they will remember the trick so writing will be easier in all subjects.

The Complete Writing Program can be purchased together or each individual book. You may also sign up for the free monthly newsletter. The one that I am looking at is going to be very helpful to us, it contains worksheets for Better Ways of Saying "Said".

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received 3 e-books free of charge, from Create Better Writers, to use with my children in exchange for my honest review.
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