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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Master and His Apprentices Review #hsreviews #ArtHistory #ArtAppreciation #ChristianArtHistory #HomeschoolArtHistory


The Master and His Apprentices

Do you or your kids appreciate art? Do you love to study art history? We just discovered a high school art history curriculum that is written from a Christian perspective from The Master and His Apprentices.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History From a Christian Perspective was written by a former homeschool student, Gena Ferguson. She has been teaching art, English, history and the Bible for over 12 years. She used her teaching experience to write this curriculum.

This course would count as a full high school credit in Art History or it may be used as a supplement for other art or history studies. Homeschool students or in classroom should spend 3-4 hours per week to meet the 120-hour guideline. There are questions to be answered for each chapter, 4 papers to be written, and 4 exams for the course. It is available in print or digital versions and comes with a textbook and a teacher's guide. We received the digital version to review with the print rights for additional students. If you want to use the course with multiple children this needs to be purchased separately.

The 380-page textbook is divided into 19 chapters and includes over 600 color photos as well as timelines of Biblical history and world history. Each new time period begins with information to set the historical time and place. The 116-page Teacher's Guide includes questions to be answered for each lesson. Here are some of the things discussed in each chapter.


  • Chapter 1- Introduction to Art ~ It starts by defining art and talks about why we should study art and how to use the resource.
  • Chapter 2- Creation ~ This chapter looks at the 6 days of Creation and discusses the things that were created each day.
  • Chapter 3- Ancient Near East ~ Noah's ark, Tower of Babel, cone mosaics, the Law Code of Hammurabi, Solomon's Temple, and more.
  • Chapter 4- Egyptians ~ Mummification, pyramid development, temple of Ramses II
  • Chapter 5- Aegeans ~ Cycladic figures, Minoan Art, and Mycenaean Art 
  • Chapter 6- Early Greek ~ Greek pottery, sculpture, temple & column design.
  • Chapter 7- Etruscan~ sculpture
  • Chapter 8 - Roman ~ Architecture & city design, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and more.
  • Chapter 9 - Early Christian & Byzantine ~ Christ's life, Christian Basilicas, Ravenna Mosaics, Hagia Sophia. 
  • Chapter 10- Medieval & Islamic ~ Dome of the Rock, Runestones & Crosses, manuscript illumination.
  • Chapter 11 - Romanesque ~ Reliquary Statues, Romanesque Architecture, Pisa Cathedral Complex, Bayeux Tapestry.
  • Chapter 12 - Gothic ~ Abbot Suger and St. Denis, Notre-Dame de Paris, Canterbury Cathedral, Doge's Palace.
  • Chapter 13- Proto-Renaissance ~ Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, Limbourg Brothers. 
  • Chapter 14- Early Italian Renaissance ~ Lorenzo Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Studiolos, Giovanni Bellini.
  • Chapter 15- High Italian Renaissance ~ Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese. 
  • Chapter 16- Northern Renaissance ~ Robert Campin, Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Altdorfer.
  • Chapter 17- Baroque ~Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio, Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer
  • Chapter 18- Rococo Today~ A post 1600's Review
  • Chapter 19- Global Highlights~ A non-western art review
  • Appendix - Includes a complete timeline, essays, lists to show where pieces are form and more.



I have been using this course with my 13-year-old daughter. She is my artsy child and loves to look at art as well as create her own. Since this is officially our summer break I let her choose where she wanted to start in this book. We read through the introduction together and then she wanted to start with Chapter 8 and learn about the Romans and then she went back to chapter 6 & 7.  Chapter 8 includes a list of the Roman Emperors starting in 27 BC and discusses their domination and their decline. There are maps, and a timeline that includes Important World Events, Famous Ancient Roman Art, and Biblical Events & Christian History. She learned about the Roman cities and their public baths, temples, and entertainment. There are pictures and information on their Colosseum's, arches, the Pantheon, and sculptures. Alaina read the text and since she is on summer break she talked me into answering the questions out loud. Which worked out well because we could discuss them and look back at the pictures.

Alaina has been enjoying this study. She likes that there is historical information included to give her the overall picture. She is planning on finishing the book this fall and Delaney is planning on using it more as a supplement to her other studies. This course includes a lot of scripture and it does not contain any nudity so I don't have to worry about Alaina using this on her own.


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The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Silverdale Press LLC Review #hsreviews #HomeschoolWritingCurriculum


Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric
As a homeschool parent, we learn real quick that all of our kids learn differently. What is easy for one may not be easy for the next one. Delaney is my writer and she is always writing stories. She likes writing curriculum that helps her become a better writer. She doesn't do well when a homeschool writing curriculum forces her to write a certain way. Lately, she has been using Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric: Practicing The Habits of Great Writers from Silverdale Press LLC.

This curriculum teaches students in grades 9-12 how to write persuasively. It does this by practicing these habits: writers write, writers read, and writers think. It does provide step-by-step instructions for writing a persuasive essay but it also allows for creativity. That is why Delaney is really liking this curriculum because it doesn't force her to put her writing into a box.

Throughout the course, the student reads about a great writer or rhetorician and something they have written. They will also define key terms, answer questions, complete exercises, and write a paper from a given prompt. The 36-week course comes with everything you will need. A 235-page Lesson book, a 202-page workbook, a 111-page Reader, and a 65-page Answer Key. The course tells you how to use the program and talks a little about the parents' role. Each lesson starts out explaining what the outcome will be and has a schedule for the student to follow. The 31 reading assignments were written by great writers including Jane Austen, Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many more. There is also an answer key with all the answers and a rubric for grading the 500-word essay and the final essay.

Delaney has had some short stories published in an online magazine so when I showed her this writing course she immediately went to the back of the lesson book to read about what real writers do, habits to form, and tips on getting published. She was very surprised that she already practices some of these tips every day. She then went back to Lesson 1 to actually begin the course. She finds it very easy to use and she knows exactly what needs to be completed each day and week. Although she could spend the entire day working on her writing if she didn't have anything else to do. She likes how this course is set up by looking at other writers and learning from them and their work. I like the rubric that is included in the Answer Key it really helps in grading her writing. Delaney also said that she is becoming more organized in her thoughts and she is realizing outlines can be a great benefit to her persuasive essay writing and her short stories.

Since we homeschool high school I want to make sure I challenge my kids in their favorite subjects without making it something they dread. Delaney hasn't liked a lot of writing curriculum we have used in the past but she really likes how Classical Rhetoric: Practicing The Habits of Great Writers is working for her.

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Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Memoria Press Classical Composition Review #hsreviews #memoriapress #classicalchristianeducation #classicalyhomeschooling #ClassicalComposition #classicalchristianhomeschooling #memoriapresscursive

Memoria Press
When you have multiple kids you realize how different they are and how different they learn. What one kid is good at another one may struggle to learn it. Delaney is my writer. She is always writing. She can fill a notebook or journal faster than anyone I have ever met. When the Crew was offered Classical Composition from Memoria Press I asked Delaney if she would like to use it and she was more than happy to oblige. Since she is older we received both Classical Composition I: Fables Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set
Memoria Press is a family-run company that offers a classical Christian education. Their composition program is based on the classical method called progymnasmata. It teaches fourteen skills and can be started as early as 4th grade. Fable is the first step and every student should begin with this one even if they are older. This level helps students engage the imagination of their audience before moving on to the Narrative stage. Since Delaney is older we also received the Classical Composition Accelerated Lesson Plans to help her move a little quicker. 
Classical Composition I: Fable Set
Classical Composition I: Fables Set includes a Student Book, Teacher Guide, and Instructional DVDs. There are 20 lessons that are set up the same way and they each start with a fable. There are teaching guidelines and examples in the appendix. Fables teach wise lessons and are easy to imitate making a great place to start your writing.
  • The Student Book is a 101 page spiral workbook. Each lesson consists of four workbook pages and a final draft written on a separate sheet of paper.
  • The Teacher Guide is a 101 page spiral book that lists each step making teaching this course very easy. It indicates exactly what to ask the student and includes vocabulary, an outline, and more. There is also a smaller copy of the Student Book pages with the answers filled in for each lesson.
  • The Instructional DVDs teach each of the 20 lessons on four discs, and they are all taught by Brett Vaden. He goes through each lesson and tells the student exactly what to do. He reads the fable first and he indicates when to write things down and when to pause the DVD to complete their work.
Classical Composition II: Narrative Set
Classical Composition II: Narrative Set includes a Student Book, Teacher Guide, and Instructional DVDs. It is divided into twenty lessons and includes teaching guidelines. Aristotle believed we learn best by imitation whether it be oral or written imitation. By having the student narrate it insures their writing is focusing on the ideas instead of the vocabulary. This gives students the ability to understand the thoughts and opinions of others and to know whether they are true. 
  • The Student Book is a 160 page spiral bound workbook. Each lesson has six workbook pages to complete. 
  • The Teacher Guide is a 160 page spiral bound book. Each lesson page has a smaller copy of the lesson pages in the Student book with the answers filled in. There are also steps listed for each lesson to help the teacher with the lesson. It includes questions the teacher should ask, vocabulary words, an outline, and teacher tips. 
  • The Instructional DVDs include a segment for all 20 lessons on six discs, and are taught by Brett Vaden.
The Classical Composition Accelerated I Lesson Plans combine both the Fable and the Narrative Stage together. It plans out exactly what should be completed each day of the week to finish both courses in 34 weeks. This plan is recommended for students in grades 6-12.

Delaney is following the accelerated plan, but we haven't gotten to the Narrative Stage yet. The Fable lessons are all set up the same way. Each lesson has its own fable and it is always read first. Either by the student, the teacher, or by listening on the DVD. Delaney usually chooses to read it herself. Key vocabulary words are discussed to help the student understand the fable. They will also try and recognize things in their own life they can relate the fable to or find truths within the fable. Students will paraphrase words and sentences, and recognize the plot structure through outlining. Once they have an outline they will retell the story orally. Next there are paraphrasing exercises. The student will paraphrase the fable by expanding it, abbreviating it, or changing the order. They will create another paraphrase by using their outline, inverting the sequence, and reducing the fable. The last section in the lesson is the final draft. 

Delaney is not one to want to watch instructional DVDs. She usually just wants to complete her work on her own. She did realize it was easier, especially at first, to watch each lesson on the DVD. She is finding the work easy right now, but she is having fun with this. Writing is her favorite pastime and she likes paraphrasing the fables. She likes doing them because it forces her to write about something that is not already mulling around in her mind or in her journals. 

I knew Delaney wanted to work through Classical Composition from Memoria Press, but I'm thinking of ordering another student book for my 13 year-old non writer. She would benefit from this tremendously. The step by step approach would make it easy for her to complete. 
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New American Cursive & Traditional Logic {Memoria Press Reviews}
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Critical Thinking Detective Vocabulary Review #TheCriticalThinkingCo #HSReviews



The Critical Thinking Co.™

Several years ago we were first introduced to The Critical Thinking Co.™ through their Mind Benders Series. Since then we have used several titles from their award winning books and we haven't been disappointed in any of them. Our newest book is The Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Book 1 and it has been a great addition to our Language Arts studies.
Critical Thinking Detective™ – Vocabulary Book 1
The Critical Thinking Detective Vocabulary Book 1 is recommended for grades 5-12+. It is a 38 page softcover workbook with 12 mysteries. Each mystery has a story to help you solve it and the there are 15 sentences for you to fill in the missing vocabulary word. There are also tips to help you solve the mysteries and all the answers are included in the back of the book as well as a synonym for each vocabulary word.

Each mystery uses 18-25 vocabulary words to tell the mystery and the reader must evaluate the vocabulary words to figure out who is guilty. Students use critical thinking skills to solve the mystery. The vocabulary practice uses the vocabulary words in sentences not related to the crime.

One thing we love about Critical Thinking Co. is they allow you to copy their products for all your kids. We love that because all my kids want to work through the books. This time Amber and Delaney wanted to use the Vocabulary book. Amber because she loves to solve mysteries and Delaney because she loves vocabulary. I even enjoyed figuring out the mysteries and learned a few new vocabulary words just by discussing the mysteries with my kids. The vocabulary words included words we hadn't either worked on or had forgotten what they meant. Some of them are nescient, otiose, boffo, feckless, and many more we knew.

My girls liked learning the new words from the mysteries. Some of them they could figure out from the story, but others they needed to look up to help them solve the mystery. They actually liked looking them up because they wanted to solve the mystery and they wanted to see who could figure it out first. Not only does this book teach vocabulary, but students also improve their critical thinking skills by assessing the evidence and using thinking skills to solve the mysteries.

The Critical Thinking Co. has been around since 1958 creating award winning products that are fun and easy to use but also teach children to carefully analyze what they are learning. I think this is more important in today's world as ever before. They will learn how to think critically therefore raising their grades and test scores.


The Critical Thinking Co.™
The Critical Thinking Co. would like to offer you some freebies and a coupon code

To receive Free Shipping plus 15% off any size order just use the coupon code: TOSCREW18. This code is good until 12/31/2018. 

Free Critical Thinking Puzzles delivered each week to your inbox. It is a $75 value and you can sign up for PreK- Grade 8. 
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The Homeschool Review Crew received several different titles to review and I'm curious about Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha and plan on reading some of those reviews. 

Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}
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Friday, June 1, 2018

Study Bible for Women Review

I love books. The physical book that I can hold and turn the pages. I read a lot of older books, but I also enjoy the smell of new books and just how clean they look and feel. Bibles are the same for me. I really like my bible app for when I only have a few minutes to read or if I am somewhere that I didn't bring my bible. Bibles get a lot of use at our house not only by me but my family as well.



I recently received a new Christian Standard Bible from Holman, The Study Bible For Women. Starting with just looks this bible is very pretty on the inside and out. This is a hardback book and includes a lot of extras. There are commentary notes, word studies, character profiles, maps, charts, timelines, concordance, and more.  

In the front of the Bible, there is a presentation page, family tree pages for the husband and wife, a wedding page, and even pages for family milestones and spiritual mothers. The next section offers tips on studying the bible and reference charts. Each book of the Bible has an introduction, timeline, and an outline. Throughout each book there are colorful maps, colored boxes with word studies, character profiles, and topics for biblical womanhood. 
I have been reading this bible the last couple of months and I am really liking it. One of my favorite things is the timeline and outline at the front of each book. Even though I can tell you the main points of each book in the bible the outline helps me remember some of the things you don't always remember and it helps me see the bigger picture of the whole book. The timelines include prominent biblical events in white letters and world events in black type. I love this. Even when we study history in our homeschool the main point I try to get my kids to remember is a mental timeline and approximate dates instead of becoming frustrated with memorizing exact dates. 

Alaina wanted me to make sure and mention that this bible has two ribbon bookmarks. She really likes that because if I am using one to keep my place where I am reading she can also mark her page with the other one. She is 13 and I think she may try and keep this Bible for herself.




Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Study Bible For Women free of charge from FrontGate in order to write this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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