Reviews from the Winter 2014 Homeschool Catalog

    From the time our children were young, reading aloud was a favorite part of our daily routine. Books that focused on history were always at the top of our list, so we were delighted to discover this series. The author is a master storyteller and uses teen boys as his main characters. These young men always exhibit noble qualities and find their lives intertwined with high-profile historical personalities. We felt so connected to the main character in By Pike and Dyke that we were appalled when we found that one of the Three Musketeers was in the army that opposed him. We felt sure that the Musketeer had chosen the wrong side, the side of our personal enemy! The books draw you into the story and help you personally connect with the events taking place, even so much that you feel you are a part of it. Ages 10 and up. Approx. 300 to 400 pages each, illustrated hardcovers from Robinson Books.

    -Cherrié, Winter 2014

    As a family we love to play games! We own several of the card games by SET Enterprises and enjoy them all. One of our all-time favorites is Five Crowns. In this game, you play 11 successive hands, starting with 3 cards and working your way up to 13. You have a wild card in each hand, but it changes according to the number of cards in the hand. This makes for a very interesting game, as you try to build sets and remember which card is the wild one. Since the object of the game is to get the fewest points and the potential to be left holding points gets greater as the game progresses, you really don't know who's going to win right up to the end.

    Another favorite is Quiddler. It introduces questions like what are you doing when you yot or yote? Our whole family learned the answer to this and more, when someone had to defend their use of the word while playing this game. We encourage dictionary usage so you can share the definition of your words with your fellow players. With some help, even the very young can play . . . and win!

    Cherrié, Winter 2014

    Most kids know how to type fast these days, but accuracy, grammar, and correct spelling aren't things they generally care about. Using Typing Instructor, students can improve their typing skills while traveling around the world, through time, and through a photo safari.

    Typing Instructor Platinum comes with 20+ lesson plans, but you also have the option to create customized lessons, complete with your own music! Using repetitive keystrokes to help build finger memory, you'll work through lessons and tests to achieve your words-per-minute and accuracy goals. The Dynamic Learning feature analyzes your work and creates specific lessons to help you improve on any weaknesses you may have. You'll be able to view the results of each lesson using graphs and charts that will show results for each finger, row, key, or hand.

    In addition to the lessons and tests, you'll practice using various magazine articles. Whether you're interested in sports, classic literature, or history, you'll be able to find something interesting to learn about while practicing your typing skills.

    And then there are the games. Racing games, adventure games, arcade games . . . all help create a fun and exciting learning experience. Use your spaceship to clean up space debris in "Flotsam Fighter," and explore ancient tombs to search for keys, coins, and jewels in "Tomb Typer." Type the words as fast as you can to stay away from the giant lobster in "Sea Creatures," and improve your accuracy as you race up the side of a mountain in "Cliffhanger."

    This was the one of the first typing programs I used, and I loved it. Part of my job includes answering e-mails, so it's certainly helped my speed and efficiency at work. No matter your age, this program will give you the necessary means to improve your typing skills. 480MB RAM; Windows 00/XP/Vista/7, Macintosh OS X/10.4 or higher. From Individual Software.

    -Rebekah, Winter 2014

    Every Friday night my family would have Movie Night. We’d pick a couple of movies to watch together, and we almost always picked one of the Moody science videos. Although they’re a bit dated in regard to the clothing and quality of video (they were originally filmed in the ‘50s and early ‘60s), the science in them is most definitely not. Using fascinating experiments, Dr. Irwin Moon covers every aspect of science. From the human brain to bees to carnivorous plants, you’ll learn more from just one of these DVDs than from any other science movies out there.

    The two that have really stuck in my memory are Windows of the Soul and Facts of Faith. Windows is about the human brain and sight. Dr. Moon wears a device that changes his eyesight view to how it’s originally received by the brain, upside down. We follow him through his everyday life while he walks to work and performs experiments, all while seeing everything completely upside down. However, within a week, his brain has recognized the problem and corrected it so that, even with the device on, he can see perfectly normally!

    Facts of Faith deals with the harmony between faith and science. The most memorable experiment Dr. Moon uses is when he sends one million volts of electricity through his body and it shoots out his fingertips. How awesome is that?!

    These DVDs discuss how faith is a huge part of science. Every DVD is filled with relevant Bible verses and incorporates biblical teaching with each concept. Dr. Moon concludes each DVD with the gospel message.

    Educational, entertaining, and enlightening, these supplements are a wonderful addition to your regular science curriculum. 28 minutes each.

    Rebekah, Winter 2014

      Biology is usually a high school student’s first major science course with lab work. The curriculum my family selected was Exploring Creation with Biology. I chose Apologia because of the creation-based perspective and stayed with Apologia all through my children’s middle school and high school years. Just before my oldest child was beginning high school, I attended a conference that featured Dr. Jay Wile as a speaker. He was so encouraging about taking on high school-level classes that may not be in our area of expertise. He said parents become fellow learners alongside their children. He really helped take the pressure off! We’re there to help our children find their way. A child who learns how to dig in until they arrive at a place of understanding will be equipped for a future as a lifelong learner.

      The 594-page hardcover Student Textbook is broken into 16 modules. Each day your student will read a few sections and answer questions. The labs are spread throughout the textbook. Each chapter has a study guide and a summary that will help the student prepare for the module exams. All the answers are included in the 200-page Solutions & Test Book.

      The labs will require extra equipment and specimens. Check out the convenient lab kits CBD carries; there are several sets available to make gathering necessary supplies and equipment easy. You’ll need a microscope and prepared slides, as well as dissecting equipment and specimens.

      Lynette, Winter 2014

      Gathering all the classes your high school student needs to graduate can be an intimidating process. Although requirements vary from state to state, most include a high school-level health course.

      Alpha Omega's LIFEPAC Electives kit offers a one-semester Health set. This program is extremely easy to implement. Everything comes in one box. There are five student workbooks with tests, a spiralbound teacher's guide with all the answer keys, and little to no planning required.

      Most students will be able to do the daily reading, questions, and activities on their own. Once they have completed the daily assignments and self tests, they should be well-equipped to study for the end of the unit tests.

      All lessons are taught from a Christian perspective. The course covers anatomy and physiology of the body, nutrition, exercise, spiritual health, mental health, social health, personal hygiene, safety, first aid, disease prevention, drugs, and the environment. We all want our kids to have a healthy future; this program will help reinforce good habits for a lifetime.

      Lynette, Winter 2014

        This reading program was a favorite of my youngest daughter, Kaelyn. She enjoyed the many different literary genres that were incorporated and the color pictures throughout the book, often rereading the stories, poems, and plays in each level.

        I remember “Mort and the Sour Scheme”(in the fourth grade reader), a fun story about rotten food in a refrigerator (which my kids know is usually in the back of my fridge!). The rotten foods talk about how they don’t like when people let them spoil, so they hatch a plot to kidnap Miss Sweet Sugarbowl, who is never ignored. My daughter read this story so many times, I thought she could recite it word for word!

        A workbook helped her with comprehension, phonics review, and skills needed to study literature. The teacher’s edition equipped me with an easy-to-follow lesson plan. This guide also provides vocabulary, literal, critical, and interpretive questions and background information to help enrich the student’s learning.

        All of these aids made teaching this course a breeze for me. I had all the information I needed, with very little prep time required. Our family kept these readers for many years, in order to read the stories again and again. I only wish I had saved them to read to my grandchildren!

        -Cindy, Winter 2014

          This 2-year history course is not your standard textbook curriculum. It's designed for middle school to high school students, but many parts can be used by your entire family. The teacher's guide offers activities and reading lists for kindergartners to adults, and features instructions for adapting the material for younger students.

          The activity book includes work sheets and review pages for concepts and units that can be used as quizzes or tests. The teacher's guide provided me with weekly lesson notes, background information, book lists, answer keys, and activity ideas such as timelines, mapping, study projects, writing assignments, research topics, and even review games for family nights. You could never do all the supplemental work within this curriculum, but it sure was fun trying!

          My family and I loved using this resource because it made history so interesting. Even studying World War II gave us an excuse to watch one of our favorite movies, The Sound of Music, together.

          Cindy, Winter 2014