TOS Review: Veritas Press Self-Paced History – New Testament Greece and Rome

Veritas Press Review
Today’s review is for the Self-Paced History of New Testament Greece and Rome from Veritas Press. This online course is aimed at students in grades 2-6, but older students may enjoy it, too. Jack just finished 6th grade, and has no patience for things that he feels are “too young” for him (such as the preschool shows his little brother wants to watch), yet he really enjoyed the lessons. Continue reading

TOS Review: Logic of English, The Rhythm of Handwriting, Manuscript

Logic of English Review
Today’s review is for the Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Complete Set from Logic of English. I don’t usually request review products in subjects in which the kids haven’t expressed an interest, but the boys’ other parent was concerned that they weren’t doing enough “school-like” things, so I thought handwriting for the five-year-old would be a good place to start. We won’t tell Dad that the boy actually (mostly) enjoyed the practice.

The Manuscript Complete Set includes one soft-cover student workbook ($18), a laminated manuscript quick reference chart ($10), one tactile card set ($28), and a student whiteboard ($9). The set sells for $65.

There are a variety of ways to use this program, and we almost used one of the suggested ways. šŸ˜‰ (You know I have to do my own thing.) Blake’s fine motor skills still need some work (so do his gross motor skills, but that’s not relevant right now), so after trying the workbook for a couple of days, we decided to just stick with the whiteboard for now. It was much easier for him, not just because the lines are wider, but because the marker slides across the board easier than a pencil on paper. Continue reading

TOS Review: CTC Math

 

CTC Math Review
When my now-sixth-grader was starting first grade in a virtual school, he took a placement test that put him in third grade math. (And this was after absolutely no math instruction whatsoever.) We started him in second grade math, and he did well until he hit fourth grade math, when he started struggling. And that’s where he’s been stuck for a while. I really haven’t pushed him, but when the opportunity came along to review the 12-Month Family Plan from CTC Math, I had him try a demo lesson to see what he thought.

The demo lesson (in case you skipped the video) is for adding fractions with different denominators. Through the whole lesson, my son kept saying, “Oh! I get it now.” Ā The way that he was taught in his virtual school never made sense to him. I had even tried to find online tutorials to help, but nothing clicked. But Pat worked his magic, and my kid was thrilled. And I’m for anything that makes learning fun and exciting. We don’t do boring around here. šŸ˜‰ (Which is one reason we also no longer do the virtual school, and have time for fun things like curriculum reviews.) The boy even liked Pat’s accent! Continue reading

TOS Review: Curiosity Quest

Curiosity Quest Review
Learning should be fun, don’t you think? I think so, and the folks at Curiosity Quest think so, too! We were excited to review two DVDs: DVD Combo Pack – Produce and DVD Combo Pack – Swimmers of the Sea. I was as fascinated by these shows as the kids were.

Curiosity Quest is a show that answers those niggling questions we all have about everyday things. Joel Greene is a fabulous and entertaining host who dives into the types of adventures we’d all love to experience. He takes us inside factories, farms, and salvage yards to learn how it’s done. The show airs on some PBS stations, and is available on DVDs. Episodes are approximately 30 minutes each.

Each episode starts with a viewer question, and goes onsite to meet someone with a related occupation. Every few minutes, we are shown a “man on the street” interview segment in which people (often cute kids) answer questions related to the show’s subject. This segment is quite entertaining, as some of the people come up with totally off-the-wall answers. There are also a few “Fun Fact” segments thrown in. The show is geared toward kids ages 7-14, but my five-year-old and I both watched them along with my twelve-year-old, and we all loved them. They’re funny and informative – quality “edutainment”!

The DVDs are great on their own, or as the starting point to a unit study. You can watch the episode then spend some fun time doing your own research to learn even more! We didn’t go that far, but as we watched the videos, we paused several times to google our own questions. Sometimes the questions were answered later in the episode, but we didn’t know that when we looked them up. LOL We watched two episodes a day for three days, and one morning, the first thing the five-year-old said when he woke up, was, “Have we watched the orange thing yet?” Which somehow ended up with us googling what vitamins and nutrients are in oranges before we even got out of bed.

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TOS Review: Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics

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Today’s review is for Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics from Apologia Educational Ministries. Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics is a homeschool science curriculum for K-6 grades. As with all Apologia resources, this is a Christian curriculum, teaching that God made everything in the universe, while teaching about things likeĀ atoms, molecules, simple chemicals, laws of motion, electricity, magnetism, and simple machines.

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The textbook has fourteen lessons, which each lesson taking approximately two weeks each, depending on how your family chooses to work with the book. Ā The Chemistry and Physics Notebooking Notebooking Journal and Junior Notebooking Journals include suggested schedules. We didn’t really use the lesson plans, but I let my sixth grader read at his own pace, and we still went through a lesson every two weeks, with him reading a few pages every day on his own. Continue reading

TOS Review: IXL.com

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Today’s review is for a fun math practice website, IXL.com. IXL does also have a Language Arts program, but it’s only for second-fourth grades, so we didn’t use it.

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IXL is not so much a learning program as it is a practice program. Each level, Pre-K through eighth grade, plus Geometry, Algebra, and Algebra II, is based on state standards, so this could be a fun way to make sure your kids are ready for standardized tests, as many states require these for homeschoolers. If your child is in public school, IXL is a fun change from worksheets and textbooks. Help relieve the “test stress” by letting them play a little. Continue reading