Explode the Code – Customer Review

Explode the Code Phonics workbooks are created with the student in mind.  They help teach phonic and literacy skills without using the same old boring routine.  The curriculum offers reinforcement activities to cement the concepts that your child needs to learn in order to start reading and continue to read well.

Strengths:
I purchased this workbook and Teacher’s Manual for my daughter after using a more expensive curriculum.  I didn’t want to drop that much money again, but I did want her to learn the necessary skills to read well.  She loved this book.  She loved the drawings and easy-to-use workbook.  She found the concepts simple to learn and the repetition helped her to remember the concepts taught.  The ideas … Read the rest of this post…

Alpha Omega Lifepac 8th Grade Pre-Algebra Review

Strengths:
For a family busily preparing an 8th grade pre-algebra math student for high school, the highly motivating and efficient Lifepac curriculum unit workbook approach is often a great way to go.  The idea of an 8th grade pre-algebra student using workbooks rather than a textbook is pretty unusual, and even I was skeptical at first.  But it seems that this format is actually very motivating for students.

The secret is that it breaks things down to bite sized chunks.  Completing a whole year of 8th grade pre-algebra might seem pretty overwhelming, and finishing a semester or quarter on time might still be a reach.  But to get one unit finished by the end of the month is doable.  So … Read the rest of this post…

Overview of Singapore Primary Math 4 Books

TITLE: Singapore Primary Mathematics US Edition 4A and 4B
PUBLISHER: Singapore Math
GRADE LEVEL: Grade 3 or 4
PREREQUISITES: Grade 3 Math or placement test
REQUIRED MATERIALS: Manipulatives
GENERAL APPROACH: Concrete >Pictorial >Abstract

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
In the US and Canada, the Primary Math Series is the most popular of the Singapore Math series. In the Primary Math books, the main emphasis is on mental technique as well as concept development and also problem solving. The teacher will present the lesson, and then the student independently works practice exercises from the workbook. Supplemental Math books have drill and practice exercises. Teachers can also assign cumulative review exercises.

For home or classroom, there are separate teacher guides. Since it provides solutions, … Read the rest of this post…

Study English Grammar Like Spelling

To study English grammar well is somewhat like studying spelling – it is something that requires a certain sort of memory and “sentence sense”.  Diagramming is an integral part of this process.  It allows kids to recognize how parts of speech fit together to make a sentence that is, in a sense, “spelled properly”.

There is a certain highly successful spelling program known as Spelling Power.  It is known as the very best of the best out there.  In just fifteen minutes per day, it transforms a child from a non-speller to a very proficient speller – sometimes raising test scores by several grade levels in a single year.  This is by utilizing a spelling list tailored to the … Read the rest of this post…

Review for Apologia Chemistry Science Curriculum

After using the Exploring Creation with Chemistry course from Apologia science, and comparing it to other chemistry courses, I would say it stands out because it makes the concepts very easy for the student to understand, and do independently, and the labs are certainly ones that a student can accomplish in the home. There is not even a separate teacher guide, so confident is Dr. Wile that the explanations are clear enough without additional help from a teacher.

When we used the Apologia science program, we found this to be true, although having a tutor for one student in the family did provide accountability that helped speed up the process for her. One of the important differences between this … Read the rest of this post…

Alpha Omega Lifepac Kindergarten Math

The Alpha Omega approach is Christian-based and child friendly.  The overall Alpha Omega Lifepac approach to math is mastery style learning.  The kindergarten math teaches children using manipulatives and visuals to introduce counting and other concepts.  If you are looking for a gentle introduction to math for your young student, Alpha Omega Lifepac kindergarten math is a great place to start.

Topics and Methodology:
The topics covered at the kindergarten math level include basics such as number order and counting; comparisons; addition and subtraction; money; and time.  The Lifepac methodology is somewhat unique in that it provides ten separate workbooks for the school year.  This is beneficial to help keep students motivated because it provides an easy marker for success.  … Read the rest of this post…

Bob Jones Spanish 1 Course Review

Bob Jones University Press is one of the oldest Christian school and homeschool publishers out there. They have been producing quality products for decades, and over the last decade they have customized their curriculum to meet the needs of homeschooling students.  This means that most of their curriculum will fit nicely with a homeschool setup. I also appreciate the fact that most of BJU Press books are hardback. This makes the investment in books and curriculum more long term.

STRENGTHS:
I particularly liked this Spanish series because it had a lot of resources that went along with it.  There was the teacher book and manual, the student books, activity manual,  and even premade tests.  There are also accompanying CDs that … Read the rest of this post…

Keys to Great Science Fair Projects Using Kids Science Kit

To get really good science fair projects from pre-packaged kits takes some creativity, but it can be done. Though many kids science kits are designed with specific experiments in mind and may even come with detailed instructions, it’s probably best to approach the kit as a set of tools that will help you in your own unique research. With this approach, a great kids science kit can help you stand out from other science fair projects.

For instance, one student selected a “miniature greenhouse” science kit, which contained seeds, a flat plastic container of soil, and a clear plastic “greenhouse” lid. He made his experiment unique. He did not study how little he could water with the lid compared to … Read the rest of this post…

Nevada Homeschooling Laws and Requirements

In the Silver State, homeschooling is a recognized freedom for parents. Despite the fact that public schools test scores rank near the bottom in the nation, by recognizing homeschooling, the legislature has done some things right when it comes to education. Under Nevada homeschooling laws, parents may choose to educate their children at home by following simple notification requirements.

The NV homeschool requirements state that parents (or legal guardian or other person who has control or charge of the child and responsibility for the child’s education) must notify the superintendent of schools for the district their child is in of their intent to homeschool. The notice is required to be filed before the beginning of the homeschool year, or within … Read the rest of this post…

Building Spelling Skills Book 2 by Christian Liberty Press

There are many publishers out there but this is one I always come back to. The Building Spelling Skills series by Christian Liberty Press is one I have chosen for my own children time and again. This publisher is christian based so words included have to do with biblical pretense. This is a plus for those of us looking for bible based or influenced curriculum. You can truly trust this publisher with your child’s education. Building Spelling Skills Book two is their 2nd grade spelling book. The format is simple and it is very easy to use and follow.

Strengths:
There are very clear instructions in the introduction page of this 2nd grade spelling book that map out a clear … Read the rest of this post…