Whether teaching writing skills to a high school student or reviewing existing skills, the process of teaching writing skills can be daunting. Sharon Watson, a veteran homeschooling mom, co-op teacher, and literary workshop facilitator, has taken the dread out of polishing up those writing skills. Schoolhouse Review Crew members have had the opportunity to use and review two of Sharon’s premium curriculum items: The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School and Writing Fiction in High School. Through the Writing with Sharon Watson curriculum, students find a conversational-style instruction that turns writing from a subject of dread to a subject of delight.
The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School is “the natural next step for those who value college-preparatory material presented in incremental steps with a conversational tone. With over 100 daily lessons and complete instructions for 22 essays and reports, this is an engaging course students will enjoy–or not dread.” Students are given the tools they need to succeed not only in high school writing but also in college writing. They are guided through writing five different persuasive type essays, a comparison and contrast essay, a biography, a literary analysis, a research paper with documentation, descriptive essays, and narrative essays. There are over 400 pages of instruction and activities in the student workbook. The teacher’s guide gives parents the answers to all of the questions in the student workbook and samples of numerous papers to help them evaluate their student’s writings. The student workbook retails for $39.98 and the teacher’s guide retails for $14.98.
Writing Fiction in High School is written in the same conversational-style as Watson’s non-fiction curriculum. It is designed to help teens who love to write stories and want to influence the world as Christians learn to be more powerful and effective writers. Student’s learn about and have the opportunity to practice with the various literary elements involved in story telling and experience critiquing their own stories and stories of others. There is even a manuscript tract for students who have already written a short story or novel manuscript to be able to edit and improve on that existing work. The student workbook, containing over 300 pages of instructional text and activities, is available for $25.05; and the, teacher’s guide is available for $19.95.
To read what our illustrious crew members have to say about their experience with Writing with Sharon Watson, click on the linky below.
Homeschooling with toddlers and preschoolers in the house can be challenging, to say the least! Coming up with creative ways to keep them occupied, engaged, and out of trouble can test the patience right out of the best of us. Dr. Craft’s Active Play understands this challenge and has designed Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children with your youngsters in mind.
This spiral bound book and award-winning DVD set contains 52 age appropriate physical activities that are:
- created for toddlers and preschoolers to play together
- easy to lead, fun to do
- inexpensive, using easy-to-get equipment
- designed for children to develop fundamental movement skills and
- inclusive of children with special needs
According to the National Association of Sport and Physical Education, preschool children need, at a minimum, 60 minutes of structured physical activity every single day. They also need 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity every day. In addition to this, they say children should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time, except when sleeping. If you have a preschooler in the house, this explains a lot – they are ALWAYS on the move!
To help you plan how to meet these recommended physical needs of your child, check out Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children from Dr. Craft’s Active Play. The program costs $39 for both the book and DVD together plus shipping and handling. And be sure to check out what our Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about it here:
A big thank you to Megan of Half-Pint House for writing this introductory post.
Mounted atop the trusty horse, Shadow, the rider moves through digitally matte-painted scenes and earns animated rewards. Math Rider varies game speed and question difficulty in order to build confidence. The student simply keys in the correct number and presses ENTER. Since the horse’s speed, the animation, and sound effects are all controlled by the game, the child is entertained but remains focused on perfecting math skills. The rewards provide instantaneous feedback and incentive for the child to perform their very best.
Progeny Press was begun in 1992 when homeschoolers Michael & Rebecca Gilleland were unable to find any classic literature studies from a Christian worldview. Fast forward over twenty years and this family-owned, family-operated business now has over 100 such study guides–each still reviewed and edited by the Gillelands to make sure it adheres to their high standards of literary analysis and biblical application.
Each guide begins with a synopsis of the book, a brief biography of the author; and suggested pre-reading activities. The book being studied is divided into reading sections and for each section the guide has vocabulary exercises; comprehension, analysis, and application questions; and discussion questions of related Biblical themes. Finally, there is a complete answer key.
In order to properly work through a Progeny Press Study Guide, a student will need access to a dictionary, a thesaurus, a Bible (NIV is used in the guide) and may benefit from Internet access or a set of encyclopedias. The guides are available as printed booklets or PDF files on CD-ROM or instant downloads. The new “Interactive” PDF format allows the student to type their answers into assigned fields on the computer screen.
Progeny Press organizes its catalog into four age groups: Lower Elementary (1-3), Upper Elementary (3-5), Middle School (5-8), and High School (9-12). For convenience, you may purchase both the study guides and the books on which they’re based on the website.
Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew received one or more of the following:
Eagle of the Ninth Study Guide ($16.99) The novel is by Rosemary Sutcliff and takes place in Roman occupied Britain in 125 A.D.
The Golden Goblet Study Guide ($16.99) The novel is by Eloise Jarvis McGraw and takes place in Ancient Egypt.
Treasure Island Study Guide (16.99) The novel is by Robert Louis Stevenson. The setting is 18th century England and an Island of undisclosed location.
Beowulf Study Guide ($18.99) The Guide is based on the Seamus Heaney translation of the Epic poem set in 6th century Scandinavia.
The Hobbit Study Guide ($18.99) The novel is by J.R.R. Tolkien and takes places in mythical Middle Earth.
Things Fall Apart Study Guide ( $18.99) The novel is by Chinua Achebe and the setting is Colonial Africa in the 1800’s.
Progeny Press recommends working through one guide page per day, making each study last 8-12 weeks (Lower Elementary titles may be shorter). For transcript purposes, a High School level guide can be recorded as 1/4 credit hour.
History is filled with interesting events and fascinating people, and Knowledge Quest offers unique ways to help students learn about and connect with history.
Sacagawea is a historical novel with a twist. It is an interactive ebook for kids ages 10 and up, with embedded links that readers can click in order to gain a deeper understanding of the life and times of one of America’s most honored women.
Written and released as 4 episodes, the complete Sacagawea story is now available in this ebook, beginning with Stolen!, and followed by Passage, Survival and Equal. Read a sample chapter, then the Complete Sacagawea Saga, now available on Amazon.com for $4.97.
KQ TimelineBuilder is an incredibly flexible and feature-packed iPad app for creating custom timelines. Child friendly (ages 10+), TimelineBuilder encourages learning about important events in science, history, art, and literature. You can choose beginning and ending dates, then add, edit, and delete events on your timeline. Use the Wiki button for convenient fact gathering. Make your timeline unique by manipulating the size and placement of images, and choosing different backgrounds. Not just for history buffs, TimelineBuilder can also be used to illustrate family trees or organize the steps of a project. Timelines are saved automatically. You can also share with your family and friends via your image library, email or iTunes.
You can see screenshots and a video tutorial on the KQ TimelineBuilder page, then purchase it from the iTunes app store for $6.99.
Leadership Garden Legacy was created by Debra Slover, out of her passionate desire to grow the leader in all of us. A “Leadership Garden” is a “fun metaphor for growing leadership”, much like you would grow plants and vegetables in your own garden. Leadership Garden Legacy has resources for individual, family, school, community and business leadership. For this review, crew members got to sample the U.N.I.Q.U.E Kids: Growing My Leadership Garden Program and U.N.I.Q.U.E:Growing the Leader Within.
U.N.I.Q.U.E Kids is a leadership development book written for kids ages 8-12. The colorful book tells the story of a sheep named Hugh who has spent time lost and wandering due to negative experiences that resulted in low self-esteem. Hugh wanders into the Leadership Garden and meets the farmers and animals who help him learn how to grow and tend his Leadership Garden. In addition to the book, which has discussion questions after each chapter, you can use the U.N.I.Q.U.E Kids Activity Guide and Journal to go along with it. This guide includes other activities to help children understand and apply the lessons of the book. You can also purchase an MP3 audio download of the book as well. The U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids book costs $18.95, the PDF download of the activity guide costs $8.95, and the MP3 audio download is $8.95 as well.
The U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing the Leader Within book is to be used with adults or older students. It still tells the story of Hugh and his experience in the Leadership Garden, but it is not in color, and it includes commentary and reflections from the author about her own personal experiences with leadership. There are activities at the end of the chapter to apply and think about. The Leadership Garden Guidebook is meant to accompany this book and includes step by step exercises you can use to cultivate leadership in your own life, or that of your older student. This book also includes an MP3 audio download. The Growing the Leader Within paperback costs $18.95, the guidebook also costs $18.95, and the MP3 download is $14.95.
Leadership Garden Legacy is offering the TOS Community a “Spring Special Discount” of 20% on all their Empowerment Tools. This is in addition to their already discounted Tool Kit bundles.
To receive your discount, enter the discount code: TOS-SS20D upon checkout. This is a limited time offer and the code will expire on May 31, 2013.
Preview the bundled Tool Kit Discount options at:
Preview all product tools at:
Visit the Leadership Garden Legacy to learn more at:
With the bundle price of the Family Empowerment Tool Kit and the TOS extra 20% discount this is a $28.70 TOS savings off the retail price of the products.
If you are looking to get your children riled up for science then head right over to Supercharged Science and check out their “Super” e-Science program! Supercharge Science was started by Al and Aurora Lipper 10 years ago with the mission of improving the way kids learn science.
With over 1,000 videos on hundreds of science topics, the e-Science program guides kids step-by-step through hands-on activities, projects and experiments. The lessons in the e-Science program are formatted so that children actually DO the lesson and discover on their own, rather than watching someone else do them.
The e-Science programs includes:
- Access to self-guided lessons that kids can complete on their own
- Detailed video instruction taught by a real Rocket Scientist
- Step by step videos to show how the experiment is to be done
- Comprehensive parent/teacher guides
- Textbook readings
- Exceeds most K-8th State Standards
- Exercises and Quizzes
- Unlimited support for teachers and students
The Supercharged e-Science program is a complete online curriculum for children in grades K-12 and retails for $37.00/ month for the K-8 section and $57.00/month for the K-12 section.