Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Master and His Apprentices - The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective Review

We recently had the opportunity to review The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentices.  What a great addition to our art history studies.  I only wish we would have had this earlier in the school year.

The Master and His Apprentices

Available in both print and e-book format, The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective was created for students in high school to earn a full elective credit in art study/humanities.  

But what sets The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective apart from other art history programs is the perspective that it has been presented from.  This program presents art to students with a Biblical basis.  It breaks art history down into sections on a timeline and allows students to choose either self-study with this program or it can be teacher led for classroom/co-op use.

We had the opportunity to review the both the Textbook and Teacher Guide for The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective in ebook format.  The Student Textbook is packed full of information.  It really reminds me a lot of my college art history textbook from a few years ago.  The information was very easy to read in PDF format that I chose to use.  The textbook contains full-color pictures of artwork, as it speaks of art from a Biblical perspective.  Scriptures are quoted throughout the lessons.  If nudity is art is bothersome to your and your family, you do not need to worry with The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective.  It does not contain any nude art.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective Student Textbook does not contain any type of questions or work to go with what your student is reading.  That information is contained in the Teachers Guide.  The Teachers Guide contains grading information, as well as a suggested schedule to allow your student to stay on track for finishing this program during their school year.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective does encourage important literature/research writing with their program.  Such important skills are needed for college.  There are four research papers that you can assign to your student throughout their art year.  Guidelines and suggestions are provided in the Teachers Guide, so no extra work and planning will be required of you as the teacher.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective Teachers Guide is where student questions and other worksheets are located to help your student to review and retain the information they are reading.  There are also four exams provided for you to hand out to your student, to make sure they are retaining the information they are studying.

Here is a sample of some of the questions from Chapter 3:

These questions are print ready, and before you stress about needing answers for the materials.... they are provided for easy grading.  If you are teaching this class though, they provide you a weekly syllabus and guide for each chapter to help keep you on track.  This allows you to plan out your time schedule for class preparation.

The boys and I read this program together.  I split the material down into smaller sections, so we were able to cover a chapter in roughly a week.  Some chapters took a little longer.  One suggestion I do have for The Master and His Apprentices, would be to make an audio option for their textbook.  With the boys learning disabilities, sometimes the reading out loud was overwhelming.  The boys struggled to read and understand independently, which is why we love to use audio textbooks.  

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is a very budget-friendly art program for both homeschool families and co-ops.  They provide the ability for you to purchase reproduction rights to print for classrooms for only $2.00 per student extra.  You can legally print your consumable materials then for larger classroom use.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is a full art history program.  I have found it to be well-written and enjoy the addition of scripture in our weekly reading.  As I have been studying artists weekly with the boys to fulfill their art history elective, I really wish that I would have had The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective earlier in the year.  It would have saved me a lot of extra research time while looking for artist/time period information.

I have decided that we will continue to keep reading The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective and using it to review alongside their World History studies from this past year, prior to starting level of that program in September.  We can definitely use this right alongside our history studies, and continue their learning.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective, click on the link below to see how they used this program in their homes and how they felt about it.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer Fun Ideas

Summer's can get very busy!  Even when you try to not make them that way.  Here are some more ideas to do together to get the most out of your summer....

1.  Your local county fair.  We have a rule to experience the county fair as it was originally meant to be.  A showcase of local talent, along with some yummy junk food.  When we go to the fair, we visit all the hardworking displays of the 4H kids (because we know how much hard work it is), the local entries for food, canning and art.  We visit the vegetable competitions and all the animals.  By skipping all the portable rides, you save money and yet you are still making memories with spending time with each other...oh and sharing the cotton candy and candy apples.

2.  Nothing says summer more than a water fight.  Our kids love water balloons....I hate them.  They are a pain to fill, unless you use the new expensive ones which the kids go through so fast.  But then you have the broken balloons all over the lawn.  So why not use sponges and a bucket of water.  You can use some plain old sponges or make your own sponge water bombs....less mess and reusable!

3.  Make a family cookbook together.  What are some of your favorite go-to meals?  Sit with your children and make a list.  You can write up the recipes on cards and keep them in a box on the counter or type them up in a booklet form.  When you sit down to make your weekly meal plan, everything is together.  

4.  Make ice cream together.  You can do it baggie style.  You can use milk and non-dairy milk options also.  We have used coconut milk very successfully.

5.  Get out the modeling clay.  You can make your own clay or store bought clay.  Create a zoo or a farm.  Make a race track and get out the Hot Wheels.  See how big you can make your creation!!

6.  Lightening Bug hunting.  This is a classic!!  Get out the mosquito spray and your jars and hit the yard at dusk!  So much fun to watch all those "glowing butts"!

7.  Chopped Jr. Smores Invention Contest.....pick a bunch of different candy and cookies and see who can invent the tastiest smores!  If you don't want to use a campfire, use marshmallow creme for speedy results.

8.  Glowing Dance Party....Shut off all the lights, break out the glow sticks and dance around the living room until you all drop!  What a fun way to finish off the evening, and great memories.

9.  Visit your local farmers market or just a local farm stand.  Get some fresh, yummy veggies and go home to enjoy the bountiful summer harvest.  Challenge your kids or even yourself, to try something new.

10.  Have a Chopped Jr. Contest.  Get a basket full of ingredients and see what they can create from it.  What a fun way to spend some time together.  

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer together!!

Hake Publishing - Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 Review

Hake Publishing

We all know that learning and reviewing grammar is not at the top of anyone's to-do list.  But I am very grateful that we were given the opportunity to review the NEW Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 from Hake Publishing!!

Hake Publishing Writing and Grammar
Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 is a rigorous and yet flexible program for students in Grade 3.  It not only introduces students to learn new writing and grammar skills, but as it introduces new concepts, it also reviews concepts to reinforce skills that students have learned.  This is a great way to ensure that student's are becoming and will remain great communicators.
The Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 package we received includes three parts.  There is a Teacher's Guide, Consumable Textbook and Writing Workbook.  If you have followed us, you know that I'm usually not a fan of purchasing teacher's guides.  I don't like to be told how to teach my  But I really do like the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 Teacher's Guide.  It is scripted, which makes it a bit different.  Now you might say...wait you just said you don't like to be told how to teach.  That is true, but as I desperately need....this Teacher's Guide is flexible.  I can pick and choose some parts to skip.  
We have been using Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 with Caty.  She is behind in this area due to her reading/spelling delay from her other learning disabilities.  Now we are more than ready to tackle sentence structure and writing sentences.  Depending on the lesson, we are usually done in around 20 minutes.  I can adjust the length of her lessons, according to her attention span that day.  
Each lesson includes a thought provoking question, ok thought provoking for an 8 - 10 year old!  We can speak briefly about whatever topic the question is on that day.  Then we move onto a vocabulary question that explores basic root word meaning.  She and I create sentences around those words and explore the meaning of the words.  Then we begin the full lesson.  This time period obviously takes the longest.  The Student Workbook covers this part of the lesson in a textbook style.  So there are examples in the lesson to go through with your student.  Then comes the practice materials.  There are questions first to cover the material that was just introduced.
Then comes the reinforcement practice.  There are several questions that are asked over previous lessons to help your student continue to improve on the knowledge they have already gained.  I really liked this option and it really helped Caty.  Some days she rolled her eyes and said, "Why, I've already answered questions like these yesterday."  But then most days I had to remind her that she still needs just a little extra help in some areas, and those questions were helping her.  
Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 contains 111 lessons.  So depending on your schooling schedule, it's a full year.  We covered three lessons a week, unless she was struggling and then we only did one or two lessons to avoid frustration.  There is a suggested lesson schedule at the beginning of the Teacher's Workbook, but flexibility was a key for me.  You could definitely cover a lesson a day, in a five day school week and finish in under a year, even with suggested tests and also the writing assignments in the Writing Workbook.

The Writing Workbook that is included in the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 package is not used on a daily basis.  Usually you include a lesson in this workbook roughly once every two weeks (so about every ten lessons), depending on your schedule.  The program is meant to go along with the new skills being taught in the Student Workbook.  Such as combining subject and predicates after covering those in the Student Workbook.  The Writing Workbook helps students to create new sentences in several different lessons.  So taking knowledge from everyday lessons, and shows kids how to fully use this information to the fullest.  Examples are provided and then student's are encouraged to create their own.  
As student's progress with their sentences, other important writing topics are then introduced in the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 Writing Workbook.  Student's will learn about basic persuasive writing, expository writing, how to edit paragraphs, and even writing basic summaries.  This is all presented in a basic third grade level.  
The material is all presented in a clear way.  The pages are not overcrowded with information or distracting pictures, which a huge deal in our house.  But students are learning more than they realize, which is a favorite teaching method for me...cramming in as much as you can with short attention spans.  
I am so happy that we had the opportunity to review Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3.  Caty has made wonderful progress in the short amount of time we have been using this program.  I plan to purchase the next level for her, and start Lydia with Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing in the upper grade levels.  I really do love the presentation of the material.  It's so simple and easy to understand that I didn't even need a refresher for myself before covering a topic.  
Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the chance to review the NEW Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3.  Click on the link below to see how they felt about this new level of the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing program.
Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {Hake Publishing Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Silverdale Press LLC - White House Holidays Unit Studies Review

We recently had the opportunity review the White House Holidays Unit Studies from Silverdale Press LLC.  These self-contained unit studies were a fun learning experience!

The White House Holidays Unit Studies is a series of six different holidays, some originating from Presidential orders and others are typical holiday celebrations and how the White House celebrates.  The holidays Unit Studies that are available include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Valentine's Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  

What makes the White House Holidays Unit Studies  unique?  They are self-contained.  All the information that you need to complete the unit study is included.  No need to worry about ordering books from the library.  You will need some "around the house" craft materials for some of the lessons, but not a lot of prep is required.  Another perk is that each Unit Study has been created for those teaching multiple grade levels in their homes.  You can use them with kids in elementary through high school.

The lessons for each study are broken down by grade levels.  There are sections for K-6th grade studies and 7th - 12th grade studies.  Each section, depending on the unit study is organized this way.  So when you download your study, you simple select what pages you want to print and what you will not be using.

We had the opportunity to use two of these studies during our Review period.  


White House Holidays Unit Studies  - Veteran's Day happened to be broken down into three lessons for each grade level.  The lessons for each grade level are kept together.  The first couple of pages in each lesson contains your teacher information.  This gives you the approximate time it will take to complete the each section to help you with planning. There is also a supply list if you there is a craft to make.  

The history of Veteran's Day is explained in the first lesson.  The student reading includes full-colored pictures.  If you were printing the pages, you could easily print these pages in black and white.  The lessons read similar to a textbook story style.  At the end of each lesson, there is an activity of either a craft, literature lesson (example of poetry in this Unit Study) or even comprehension questions.

One of the activities was learning about the connection of Poppies and World War I.  There was a craft idea included, and Caty was struggling that day and couldn't cut and make the craft.  It was a very cute flower craft to go with the poem, In Flanders Field.  Instead though she built a poppy field in her Minecraft game.  I liked the flexibility with the Unit Study, to allow for this.  She will still remember these details and poem that we read through.

Other topics covered in the White House Holidays - Veteran's Day, include food conservation during both World Wars, and why we know this as Veteran's Day and not Armistice Day. 

There are many suggestions for all grade levels on how to become more involved in showing appreciation for veterans.  The older grade level section also includes comprehension questions over some of the material being read.

The other unit study we spent time on was - White House Holidays - Labor Day.   This study is laid out very similar to the Veteran's Day unit.  It is written for Grades K - 12, and is broken down into grade levels K - 6 and grades 7 - 12.

White House Holidays Unit Studies - Labor Day focuses on the history of Labor Day, and what the true meaning is.  Have you ever thought about that?  Most people think, "That's a 3 day weekend off in September!"  When we first started homeschooling, I wondered this. I loved the textbook style format of this unit study.  I did not need to purchase or borrow any extra books for the lessons.  The Labor Day Unit Study is an informative study that can be completed easily within a week, and would be a great addition to the start of your school year just before Labor Day!

The Labor Day Unit Study includes many photographs for students to look at photographs from the early 1900s and they are asked to answer thought provoking questions about what was going on inside them.  The history of child labor and the dangers that many faced just to earn a paycheck is explored.

There were website suggestions given when working on research projects.  You can click on links if you are using the PDF download.

I really liked the upper grade level of the Labor Day unit study, since it went into short descriptions of Primary Source documents, and we were able to have discussions about looking at what websites and materials they are using for find answers to questions they are researching.

Each of the Unit studies that we have used over the last few weeks, really do not take a lot of time.  You could easily study each of them in a week.  The pictures and photographs included in the student reading of each lesson, really do help to keep a student's attention.  

The biggest benefit of using the White House Holidays Unit Studies  from Silverdale Press LLC ..... almost all of the work has been done for you.  Gathering a couple art supplies you already have around the house, or printing the student reading sections if that is what you want to do, is about all of your work!!

Silverdale Press LLC is very confident that you will love their products.  They offer a Money-back guarantee, just in case you decide that their product is not for your family.  Not many companies offer this guarantee for downloadable materials.

We really have enjoyed going through these Unit Studies that are part of the White House Holidays Unit Studies  series.  The kids have enjoyed the reading we have done together!!

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the various areas from the White House Holidays Unit Studies  offered by Silverdale Press LLC.  Visit the link below to see what studies they used and what they felt about these unit studies.

Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

MaxScholar - MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program Review

If your student is struggling with reading skills due to conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD, processing disorders or other learning disabilities, MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program could be your answer.  We recently had the opportunity to review the MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program from MaxScholar.  What a great help to your learning!

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program offers help to a proven multi-sensory approach for learners.  They have created a program that is visual, tactile and also auditory depending on how your child learns best.  They have based their program on the well-known Orton-Gillingham reading approach and strategy.  The MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program can be used on both computers (PC/laptops) and tablets.

Caty has a comprehension delay in her processing of material, which causes her trouble breaking down words whiles she is reading.  She also does not always understand vocabulary by just reading the words around the word, and she struggles with remembering letter sounds.

So we started with the MaxPhonics and she took the pretest.  She answered a series of questions to check how much she remembered about letter sounds and blends.  This did not take very long.  Since this program was created for kindergarten and up, it's important to test student's on the basics and make sure that they understand.  Caty passed the Phonics pretest and it didn't take long for her to be transferred into MaxWords. 

Since she understood basic phonics, she was able to start looking at word roots, prefixes, and suffixes more deeply.  This in turn has helped her spelling level improve also as she has been encourages to break down words more.

Each Lesson was only as long as she made it.  So the longer she sat there, the longer the lesson would  Seriously though, the length of the lessons are really great for kids with short attention spans.  Caty is easily distracted, and most days she spent just minutes on her lessons.  Some days she could do two lessons by splitting them up.  Or if she was struggling with a concept, I could tell by the grade she received and we could sit down and review the material together and have to take that lesson again.

During this level she also practiced her fluency.  Caty still has pronunciation problems.  So some days she might struggle with some letter combinations, but she was able to practice.

Caty also used MaxReading.  In this program, as a student improves in their reading the program adjusts to their learning and continues to help them improve in their reading and comprehension skills.  Some areas of the program is reading (or listening to audio book and following along) while other areas is comprehending pictures and then answering questions.

I really liked that even though Caty has improved in her reading prior to MaxReading, she was able to have passages read to her and she could follow along as the words were highlighted.  Students learn to distinguish between main ideas, supporting details and necessary information.  This helped to reinforce what we had been talking about in her grammar/writing, and having too much information in your writing.

I could see instantly what areas that Caty needed to have extra help in.  Some days she got frustrated if she missed questions.

But she was able to re-take the chapters and areas where she didn't score as well, in order to improve her grade.  She could also refer back to the chapter if she had questions or could not remember the material she was being asked about.

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program continues to work to keep their program very user friendly for both the parents and kids using it.

Under my parents dashboard, I can track her grades, but also print practice materials or worksheets that can help her follow along if she's having trouble following the screen that day.  Yes there are days where her eyes strain and she struggles to follow.  I could print also so that she could review on both the screen and practice afterward.  This came in handy to build her a notebook for her assessor.

I did like the way that lessons are presented by MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program.  The program does grow with your child as they are making improvements in the skills they are struggling with.  I would recommend it even for older students who are struggling and need some extra help.  They are the ones that want to use online material and yet do not want the cartoon characters, because they feel they are too old for that.  I would definitely see MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program working for students in late elementary through middle school levels.

We will continue to include MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program in Caty's weekly schedule.  She has started to grasp the elements of literature, including the main idea and supporting details.  Her comprehension skills continue to improve, as well as her spelling skills with the use of MaxWords.  As she continues to improve, she is able to work more independently which is building her confidence.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program.  Click on the graphic below to see how they used this program in their homes and how they felt about it.

Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer