Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Easy Grammar Review

Easy Grammar Systems has been an excellent addition to our homeschool English program. My son has been using Easy Grammar Plus for the past several weeks in order for us to review the product. I will say that when we received the giant Teacher Edition in the mail, we were both quite intimidated. But no need to fear because this giant red book includes the teacher AND the student edition. The student pages are on the right hand side of each page with the answer key on the left.

The beginning pages of the book give copy permission for your personal home use. I love that generous policy as I only need to purchase the book one time but am permitted to copy for all of my children. There is a separate workbook and test booklet that may be purchased, but neither of these are necessary to complete the program. Everything that you need to successfully teach grammar is in the Teacher Edition.

Instructions are included in the first pages for how the program works. This is a master learning based program. Once the concept is fully understood and mastered, then the student may move on to the next topic. The second key to this program is that the student must memorize and learn the list of prepositions. This is crucial to being able to easily identify the other parts of speech.

Naturally the program begins with prepositions and moves onto verbs. All the different types of verbs are included: linking verbs, regular and irregular verbs, subject/verb agreement, verb tenses, transitive and intransitive verbs. It basically teaches everything the student needs to know about verbs. Following verbs, the program teaches about nouns, interjections, conjunctions, adjectives, sentences, phrases and clauses, adverbs, pronouns, punctuation, and capitalization.

The program begins by teaching about prepositions and instructs students to find and cross out the prepositional phrases. Once these are eliminated from the sentence, it is simple to identify the subject, verb, and various other parts of speech. I will say that once my son was able to easily identify the prepositions, the rest was fairly straightforward. The key is really memorizing those prepositions and being able to easily pick them out in a sentence.

This is a very thorough curriculum to teach grammar. It is simple to complete and just takes a few minutes each day. Since the focus is mastery learning, your student will be able to internalize and really grasp these concepts. I appreciate that the program focuses only on grammar. This frees us up to study literature and other language arts topics without getting bogged down in grammar instruction.

Curious what other reviewers had to say about this product? Head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read all the reviews.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

College-Ready Writing Essentials Review

College-Ready Writing Essentials is a writing program produced by the company called BetterRhetor to help prepare students for college level writing success. Two of my students have begun to work through the program. They are in high school--grades 11 and 12 and have had quite sufficient writing instruction thus far. I wanted to review this program to see how it stacks up and how well the other programs have prepared them this far.

When you login to the program, it looks like other typical online type programs. The lessons are listed to the left and then there is an area to display the lessons on the main screen. As students complete lessons, they are marked as complete and the student moves onto the next lesson.

These lessons are not for the faint of heart. When it says College-Ready, it really truly means college-ready! I do believe that there are students who leave high school unprepared for the level of writing that is required of them to succeed in college. This program will most definitely prepare your student to not only know how to write, but it will teach them how to write well and obtain a passing grade.

The assignments are specific and able to be completed in one session. The sessions are meant to be completed over a five week period with one lesson being completed per day. Of course a very motivated student could work more quickly, but for my students the pace of one lesson per day was a challenge. I felt it was ok to allow them to go at a slower speed as they needed to. I know they have had a lot of practice with writing and are going to get a lot more practice as the year progresses.

The lessons are typed out lessons for the students to read through. This is not a bad way to take an online course. It would easily prepare a student for taking online courses as the format could become familiar. It would be more interesting for students if the lessons were recorded as videos, but as they are written out, it forces the students to pay attention to what they are reading and to comprehend the teachings. With the lessons being presented in this way, students are able to refer back to something if they need to.

For this review we received the premium package. That means that the instructor will review an essay for my students. We have not yet finished the essay so I am unable to comment on that aspect of the program. I am sure the feedback will be very valuable.

Curious what other reviewers had to say about this product? Head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read all the reviews.

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College-Ready Writing Essentials™ {BetterRhetor Reviews}

Monday, August 5, 2019

Library and Educational Services Review

Library and Educational Services LLC allowed me to choose to review several items. I chose one book from the Who Was ... ? series, one title from Lifehouse Theatre CDs (The Misadventures of Tom Sawyer), and several titles from their Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books series. Choosing titles was the hardest part! They all looked completely amazing.

The Misadventures of Tom Sawyer CD is entertaining and engaging for anyone to listen to. I chose this title because my son enjoys listing to Tom Sawyer, so I thought he would also enjoy this one. It is easy to listen to as it is like watching a video, except there is no video. My son especially loves to listen to audio books, so naturally he enjoys a good audio drama as well.

There were so many titles to choose from in the Who Was ... ? series that I feel like I practically could have chosen all of them! I ended up choosing the one about Alexander Hamilton for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons is that my son really enjoys listening to Hamilton, so I thought it would be interesting for him to read about the man that the Broadway play is about as well. When this series of books first began to be published, I was a little bit apprehensive, but it has turned out to be well received and the books are easy to read and informative. I thought they would be mostly fluff, but there are some very interesting and accurate facts included in each book. These biographies are excellent for learning how to do some research. They can be enjoyed by any age, but the larger font and simple layout make them perfect for younger readers.

Now let's discuss the Hardcover Library Binding books that I received. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but now that I have seen these beautiful books, I wish I had ordered several more sets! These books are sold in sets according to topic. You can easily preview some pages so that you know the content of the books and what to expect regarding reading level. The library binding means these will hold up for years to come making them true library building collections.

One set that I chose for this review was about different key people during the time of the Civil Rights movement. These books are written in a comic book style and are called A Graphic History of the Civil Rights Movement. Even though these books are relatively quick to read, they really pack a ton of information in a short spot. This series is perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about each of the individuals involved in the movement. They are engaging and do not take a long time to read all the way through. I learned quite a bit as I read through them. There are six title in this series: Thurgood Marshall, The Little Rock Nine, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.

The second set that I chose was called Voices for Freedom. These books are quite a bit longer and have many words on the page. These titles would be perfect to begin learning how to do some basic research projects. They would be good for students to read a few pages each day to learn more about the history behind each biography. There are also six titles included in this set: John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Theodore Weld, and William Lloyd Garrison.

We really enjoyed all of the beautiful items that we received for this review. There are a ton of products available on the website at wholesale pricing, and I encourage everyone to go check it out for yourself. This is also a great way to save money on any books that you might need for your homeschool or simply to build a library.

Curious what other reviewers had to say about this product? Head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read all the reviews.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wordless Wednesday--almost

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Home School in the Woods Review

Home School in the Woods always has amazing products for homeschoolers. I always enjoy using something new in our homeschool. I think now that we have been able to use the Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures that means that we have used nearly every product in their large collection!

These timeline figures have beautiful detail in each image. You are able to choose how you would like to use the figures--either with some written info or without. I like the written info as it just gives a little hook for the student to remember what they learned about that object as look back through their timeline. You are also able to print these in different sizes if you so desire.

The timeline figures are accessed through what looks like a web page, but you do not need to be online in order to access them since they are all downloaded to your computer.Once downloaded, click on the disc 1 or disc 2 folder on your computer. Once you are in the disc that you want to access, click on the start button. This will pull up the content for you with clickable links. Personally, the easiest disc to work with is disc 1. You just pull up a time period and print the pages. Simple. The second disc takes a little more work to use, but the flexibility of that disc allows to print exactly what figures you want. So take the time to play around with the features on both discs. I will be teaching my son how to print the figures that he needs for the rest of his history studies. It's good for him to know how, plus it frees me up to do other things.

What I love about these figures is that they are simple, yet beautiful. They are easy to use and appeal to any age. I also like that you can choose to print the figures in whatever way you will best use them--a variety of sizes means that you can hang them on the wall or use them in a timeline book.

Do you need ideas for how to use timeline? Check out this Teaching with Timelines blog post writen by Home School in the Woods. Actually all of their blog posts are informative and super helpful.

I really do love all of the products that are offered by Home School in the Woods. Many of their items are project based and easy for kids to use. Parents can spend a few moments preparing and printing for the daily lesson and then teach the lesson to the kids. I do hope you will take a moment to read what other reviewers have to say about some of the projects that they reviewed.

Curious what other reviewers had to say about this product? Head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read all the reviews.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wednesday, July 17, 2019