Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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



As the kids got closer to high school, I started looking for an art history curriculum for them to use. Sadly, the pickings are a little slim. I found a variety of resources geared to younger students, but high school was almost non-existent. So when we were given the chance to review a new art history curriculum called The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective, I was eagerly hoping it would be a fantastic fit for our homeschooling.  This new high school art history program from The Master and His Apprentices is geared to the Christian homeschooling family.
The Master and His Apprentices:Art History from a Christian Perspective is a full art history curriculum. It is written from a Christian point of view, contains no nudity or any other objectionable material.




For this review, we received the digital textbook and the digital teacher's guide. The digital books come in a fixed layout downloadable PDF. Due to the size of the book, it is recommended to view them on a computer and not a tablet. The textbook and the teacher's guide are also available in a physical copy.

Digitale Textbook~ $34.99
Hardcover Textbook~ $149.99
Digital Teacher's Guide~ $19.99
Softcover Teacher's Guide~ $24.99

*Prices are subject to change.

The digital textbook can be printed at home and stored in a three ring binder. We received instructions on how to do this. I chose not to print the book out. It's a large book and contains a large amount of colored pictures. It just didn't seem cost effective to me.

The hardcover textbook is 380 pages and contains over 600 pictures. Over 500 of those pictures are colored. The book is 8 1/2 by 11 in size, so it's a standard textbook. The softcover teacher's guide is the same size as the textbook. It contains 120 perforated pages.



The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective covers the history of art from the beginning to now. The program in intended for high school students. The course intended to be used by students for a full year (1 credit). Students will cover one chapter a week. The book is broken up into 5 units and there are 19 chapters in the book.

The Beginning
Chapter 1~ Introduction to Art
Chapter 2~ Creation

Ancient Cultures
Chapter 3~ Ancient Near East
Chapter 4~ Egyptian
Chapter 5~ Aegean

Classical Antiquity
Chapter 6~ Early Greek
Chapter 7~ Etruscan
Chapter 8~ Roman

Middle Ages
Chapter 9~ Early Christian & Byzantine
Chapter 10~ Medieval & Islamic
Chapter 11~ Romanesque
Chapter 12~ Gothic

Renaissance
Chapter 13~ Proto-Renaissance
Chapter 14~ Early Italian Renaissance
Chapter 15~ High Italian Renaissance
Chapter 16~ Northern Renaissance

Baroque & Beyond
Chapter 17~ Baroque
Chapter 18~ Rococo to Today
Chapter 19~ Global Highights

At the end of the books is the Appendix. It contains a few essays, a period chart, a timeline, a list of pieces by location, a list of terms to describe art, a sources list, and an index.

 


Students will learn about great sculptures and painters, like Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Vermeer, and Bernini. They will study ancient artifacts, beautiful cathedrals, and stunning works of art.

How Did We Use The Master and His Apprentices?

After downloading the book to my computer, I forwarded it to my kids so they could have it on their own personal computers. This made it easy for everyone to read and follow along. We jumped right into the first chapter, which was a introduction of what art is. For us, this chapter a sort of a recap. My kids have studied over since we started homeschooling. Our Catholic religion books and history curriculum have been wonderful at introducing Michael and Therese to beautiful works of art and  talented artist. I enjoyed how this chapter encouraged students to ponder what they think art is. I loved how it stressed that God is the best artist out there. There is no way we can walk around and not see the beauty he has created for us.

The second chapter focused on the days of creation. This chapter felt like a recap of the bible or religion class. I personally didn't find too much art history in this section. It had a lot of other useful information. Students will learn about creation, how things in the world works (water cycle), and how we should be grateful for all the amazing things God created for us.


Chapter 3 and chapter 4 is when we really started learning about art history. This chapter took us back to ancient times. We learned about the Persian Empire and the Ancient Wonders of the World. The kids were thrilled to learn about the Ziggurats again. They had previously learned about them a few years ago when we studied ancient history. I was amazed to see what they had remembered from our co-op and history curriculum. It's always a win when a mama sees her hard work pay off!

What Does the Teacher Guide Include?

The teacher's guide is 116 pages. I did print this out for my own personal use. I printed it out, 3-hole punched the pages and put it in a 3 ring binder! Simple and easy.  The teacher's guide provides moms (teachers) with a suggested time frame. There is a sample syllabus for students and classes. Suggested reading schedules are provided, worksheets for the students to fill in, exams, a guide for teachers to follow, an answer key for the worksheets and exams, and options for writing! Everything you need to teach this art history course is included in the teacher's guide!

What Did We Think of The Master and His Apprentices?

Overall, the book is extremely well done. The pictures are stunning! There are a ton of them, over 600 pictures! They're clear, bright, and wonderful quality. The variety was exceptional....paintings, artifacts, cathedrals, mosicas, etc. There is no way you can study art history from a book without fantistics pictures. I can't stress how amazing the pictures are! 

Unlike many other art history books, there are no nude pictures included. For me personally this isn't an issue. However when my kids were little, I would have loved this. For years, I taught an art class at co-op and always had to be careful with pictures. With different families views, it would have been nice to have an art history book without naked people. Little kids tend to giggle when they see naked people, which can really disrupt a class. For my own kids, I never hid the beauty of the body God created. I have never viewed the naked forms in artwork as inappropriate. It was art. 

The timelines provided in the book are a great feature. They help students see when and how things progressed. Too often students study a topic and have no clue where it falls in the grand scheme of things.

I'll be honest...I hate reading books on the computer! I would much prefer an actual book in my hands. However, for the budget conscious homeschool family, a $150 for a textbook is just not feasible. The option of the digital book is a nice. It allows families with a limited budget to still have access to great materials.

The historical information was very good. The author provided a lot of facts and definitely spent time researching the various time periods and works of art. There were a few instances were I felt the author was presenting her own personal opinions. At times, it felt like story time. This was a turn off for me. In high school and college when I studied art, I don't remember our books containing the personal views of the author. Others may find this particular style appealing. I would for younger students, but not for high school. This style would be a better fit for students in 5th-8th grade.

For us, this art history course was not the best fit. It came close to what I was searching for, but did have a few concerns for me. The textbook is written from a Christian point of view, but isn't necessarily friendly to those of the Catholic faith. I felt it was more of a protestant point of view. The first few chapters about the ancient cultures were relatively harmless, but as I read further in the textbook I found a few things that definitely came across inaccurate for what we believe as Catholics. It was nothing we hadn't come across before, so I knew we could work around it. We have a strong religion and ancient history course that teaches my kids their faith, so I know they are strong in their faith. We'll continue to use The Masters and His Apprentices along with our other courses. It would be a great learning tool for both Michael and Therese. It will help them learn how to defend their faith to others. 

Overall, I will say I would recommend the program. The pictures are fantastic ( I know I've already said that, but they really are) and the book does contain a wealth of knowledge. I would definitely let my fellow homeschooling families (Catholic and non-Catholic)  know of my concerns with the curriculum. There are very few art history courses out there for homeschoolers. This course could be a wonderful addition to any homeschooling curriculum. I wish I would have kept my high school and college books, but sadly I didn't. As we continue to use the course, I will add additional books and information for my kids.

Find out more about The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective...


Discover what the rest of the crew had to say about The Master and His Apprentices:Art History from a Christian Perspective.




Till Next Time,
Monique







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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Biomes~ Wading Through Fresh Water

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 




This biome was pretty easy for us. For years, the kids and I have walked down to the creek and explored its hidden treasures. We've seen frogs, small fish, crayfish, turtles, and a variety of plants along the banks. We even carried home a few special rocks that the kids just couldn't leave behind.

Since we were so familiar with the freshwater biome, the kids decided not to create a diorama for this particular biome. We just took a walk instead! Hands-on learning and a nature walk all in one!

Ducks and Geese....


Fish....


Small waterfalls....



Crayfish...



Polished river stones....


Michael found a crayfish nursery.
They are so little.


and we used an underwater microscope to explore things more closely.
Michael even used a water straw to purify the water and drink some. He's ready to go camping and prepared if he gets lost.


Books about freshwater biomes....



Till Next Time,
Monique




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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Review~ Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric from Silverdale Press LLC


Classical Writing Curriculum Review



The kids and I were recently given the opportunity to review a wonderful writing curriculum from Silverdale Press LLC. The Persuasive Writing and Classic Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers was a fantastic classical writing curriculum to use!




For this review, we received a digital download for the Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers. The curriculum package includes the Lesson Book, Student Reader, Consumable Workbook, and Answer Key.

 The Lesson Book is 235 pages. It includes lesson plans and ideas to discuss over the week. The lesson book is written to the parents, but an older student could easily read the lesson book and work independently. I think discussing the lesson together with your student would lead to deeper thinking. The Lesson Book introduces the Profile in Rhetoric (great writer being covered that week), objectives that should be covered and learned during the week, and the four day schedule for what should be covered each day. Each lesson is about 5-7 pages long. There is plenty of information provided on the topic being covered, the writer being discussed that week, and tips in becoming a better writer. The notes provided in the lesson allow parents and students to dig in and really discover the world of writing. Students will learn how to write interesting works, how to take notes, how to pick a subject, how to arrange your thoughts, etc.


The Student Reader Book is 111 pages. The reader is broken up into lesson too. Each week the student will read about great writers. Patrick Henry, Saint Augustine, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan are just a few of the writers that students will read and learn about. The reader provides the students with excerpts from famous writings from the various men and women covered during the course.

The Consumable Workbook is 202 pages. The workbook provides the students the 4 day schedule for the week. During the week, students will define key terms, answer review question, work on writing exercises, and finish the week off with writing prompt. 

The Answer Key is 68 pages long. It's for the teacher! Teachers will find a rubric to evaluate the weekly 500 word writing exercise the students will work on each week. Answers to the questions found in the student workbook are also included. 




Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers is geared for students ages 14-18. This course is a 36 week language arts curriculum for students in grades 9th-12th. Students will learn how to write persuasively by following the Classical Rhetoric approach. By studying the great classical writers, students will learn how to apply the habits of these great men and women.




Not only will the students focus on writing, they will also read and interpret great works of non-fiction. Through this multi-step process, the eager student will learn about writing styles, proper grammar and sentence structure, and clarity in writing. The classical approach is an exceptional way to help student's writing techniques flourish!

So How Does Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers Work?

The writing curriculum is broken up into 36 weeks. Each week is broken up into a four day schedule. So, for example, during week 2, students will read a speech from John F. Kennedy and work on learning some of the habits of the great writers.
On day one, students will read lesson 2 and answer lesson 2 review questions. On day two, they will read John F. Kennedy's Rice Stadium Speech in the reader and then answer the questions about the speech in the student workbook. On day 3, students will work on the writing exercises included in the student workbook. Finally, on day 4, students will write 500 words on the wiring prompt provided. 


What Did We Think of Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers?

I was extremely impressed with this curriculum. It was everything a homeschooling family following a classical approach would want in a writing curriculum. I enjoyed the variety of writers included. I was pleased to see men, women, and saints included. I loved seeing strong Catholic men included in this writing curriculum. I liked the fact that older, more mature topics were being covered and discussed. Planned Parenthood and abortion are just two of the topics that I thought were important for young adults to know about and discuss.


"an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
~Benjamin Franklin



Therese was a little on the younger side for this curriculum. In fact, she was below the recommended grade suggestion. Michael currently does 8th/9th grade work, so he made it into the recommend grade suggestion, but I will admit that his writing is not quite that strong yet. Both of them struggled with some of the readings, questions and writing exercises. I strongly suggest to follow the grade guidelines. We worked through the first 3 lessons, but then had to stop due to a family situation. This family emergency stopped our schooling and basically put our life on hold for a few weeks. With it being so close to the end of the year, I decided to restart the program next fall and have the kids work through this fantastic writing curriculum next year.

Michael loved looking through the reader. He was thrilled to see Saint Augustine, Justice Scalia, and Ronald Reagan. He considers all three of these men great role models and men to study further.


Do you have younger students that want to learn more about history, social studies, or writing?

Silverdale Press LLC offers a wonderful selection of unit studies for younger and older students.
The White House Holidays Unit Study was also reviewed by the crew. It covered important holidays like Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine's Day. These unit studies are geared for students ages 5-18. The unit studies offer two options for study. One lesson is geared for students in elementary school, while the other lesson is geared for junior/senior high school. This perfect for families that school together. The whole family can learn together!



Find out more about Silverdale Press LLC.


Be sure to read the rest of the reviews written by the 
Homeschool Crew Review!




Till Next Time,
Monique




Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Biomes~ Wandering Around the Desert

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 


It sure is hot out here! But did you know that is can get rather chilly in the desert at night? I'll admit before our studies, I didn't really know this interesting little fact. The kids and I have never been in the desert, so we had no clue! We were amazed with all the life that can be found hanging out in the desert.



Using sand, clay, pipe cleaners, paint, and popsicle sticks, the kids created some pretty amazing dioramas. They really brought the desert to life.


They added snakes and cacti.




Michael even added a man that wandered off  and died in the desert. He got bite by the snake. 
Boys are so silly!


Therese added some color to her desert scene by having the cacti blooming. She even added a mirage of water.



Books we read about the desert....






Till Next Time,
Monique



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Monday, June 18, 2018

Review~ Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar



Recently, the kids and I were given the chance to review Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar. This was our second opportunity to review the reading programs from MaxScholar. I was excited to see what new, fantastic additions they had made.



For this review, we received a 12 month subscription to their online Reading Intervention Programs. The Reading Intervention Programs offer students that struggle with dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, processing problems, or are just struggling to learn how to read a wide variety of resources. MaxScholar uses a multi-sensory and systematic approach in their learning programs. They have spent time researching various approaches, like the Orton-Gillingham, the Lindamood-Bell Process©, other phonics and reading comprehension programs. They've done all the hard work of researching for parents. Now parents can spend time helping their kids excel in their reading skills.

How Does the Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar Work?

Each student gets their own account. This was an easy process. We provided information to the company and they took care of the rest. Our accounts were set up by the wonderful folks at MaxScholar. We received an email with our username and password. The kids had no problem signing in. I also received a teacher's account so I could keep track of the kids progress. This logging in process was simpler than last time and definitely less confusing.

There are 3 major sections in the Reading Intervention Program. Students will find MaxWords, MaxPhonics, and MaxReading.

MaxPhonics..... This program is geared for the younger student. It's actually broken up into 2 sections, Pre-K Phonics and Phonics. Pre_K Phonics is geared for students ages 3 to 5, while Phonics is geared for students ages 5-7. Of course, the program can be used by older students who need work on their phonics skills. Individual letter sounds, letter pairs, blends, and digraphs are taught. Videos help teach proper pronunciation. There are drills, practices, and fun games to encourage learning.



MaxWords..... This program focuses on building a student's word knowledge. This is done by teaching students prefixes, suffixes, Latin roots, Greek roots, spelling rules, and syllabification. This is a fantastic program to help students to prepare for the PSAT and SAT. We've studied a lot of this over the years, but review is always important. The more we study, the more we'll remember.



MaxReading.... This program is broken up into 13 different levels. The stories vary in difficulty and interests. Students will work through each level. Placement tests help students know where to start. As the students reading skills improve, they will move along. This allows students work through the various stages at their own pace! The stories feature vocabulary and comprehension questions for building stronger language art skills. For the older students, they are given the opportunity to outline and summarize each story. This is key step in creating a stronger writer.

The program also has a few other areas students can explore and learn with...MaxMusic, MaxVocab, MaxPlaces, and MaxBios.

MaxMusic...This section uses music and games to encourage the slightly reluctant learner to learn. The games will work on memory, recognition, and auditory skills.

MaxVocab....This section is MaxScholar's dictionary. This section provides students with thousands of definitions and fun games to help students learn new vocabulary.

MaxPlaces....This section allows students to explore the world! Students choose a city or a location from the map, read a short passage about the place, and answer a few questions. There are 51 locations that students can visit and learn about.

MaxBios... This section introduces students to important people from the past and the present. The biographies are from around the world and set up in chronological order.


How Did We Use the Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar?

First off, I have to admit we are behind in our lessons with this program. Over the past few weeks, we have had a variety of issues come up that have affected our ability to use our internet. First, it was heavy rains, flooding, and power outages. Next we had telephone poles being changed out in our area which caused more internet connection problems. No power....no internet! Finally, we had an unexpected family emergency that affected our life rather drastically. Things are fine now, but it was a shock for our family and we've had to take some time off from school. In fact, we have officially stopped school, except math, for the year. My plan is to have the kids work 20-30 minutes a day over the summer with the MaxScholar program I think it will be a wonderful tool to increase vocabulary and reading skills.

When I requested this review, my goals was for Michael and Therese to really focus on the MaxWords section. I wanted to help reinforce the suffixes and prefixes they had learned in the past. Understanding the meaning of these will help them know the meaning of words as they go further in their schooling. PSAT's and SAT's are right around the corner. I can't believe it's almost here. It seems like we were just learning our ABC's and 123's.

What Did We Think of MaxScholar?

I found the site to be a lot easier to navigate. Set up and login were very simple. The teacher's dashboard was easy to reach, simple to understand, and I wa able to keep track of both my students. There was no confusion about what I was looking at.



I love the writing features to the program. It reinforced everything we have been learning over the past few years!

Therese found the site easy to navigate through. She logged in, took the placement test, and immediately got to work on going through the various levels.

Michael actually didn't mind MaxScholar this time. When we reviewed it last time, he didn't care for the program. This time he sat down and got to work.

What to learn about this wonderful reading program from MaxScholar? Find MaxScholar on Social Media...

Twitter
Facebook
Linkedin 

What to see what they other crew members had to MaxScholar and their Reading Intervention Programs?
Click on the link below!



Till Next Time,
Monique





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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Biomes~ Diving into Marine Waters

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 


Next stop is the ocean. 
We didn't spend much time on this biome at home since the kids were doing Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day with our local homeschool group. A fantastic mom in our group volunteered to teach the kids. It was wonderful. The kids had a blast in class, learned a ton of information, were able to do some cool experiments, and see their friends every week. Us moms were able to have 2 hours to do whatever we wanted!

One of the projects she had them do was to create an ocean biome. Here's what Therese came up with. 



and Michael's creation...


We did check out A Journey into the Ocean (Biomes of North America) from the library. This series is amazing and the books are incredible. They are filled with lots of information and stunning pictures!



Till Next Time,
Monique




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Friday, June 8, 2018

E is for the End of the Year {Blogging Through the Alphabet}

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you.

Blogging through the Alphabet





It's the END of the Year! The school year that is!

It's hard to believe another school year has come and gone! I'm thrilled to say that we have finished up all our classes, except math. Math we do year round for multiple reasons....to help stay fresh and on top of it, to catch up to grade level, and to practice areas where the kids may have struggled.

This year seemed like a busy one, but in reality it was probably one of our less busy years. Our local co-op had most of it middle school and high school kids head off to school last september, so most of the events were geared for children 10 and under. This obviously was not a great fit for my two teenagers. This shift in activities has forced us to look elsewhere. We've discovered a few things, but are still on the lookout. What type of activities are your teens in? I'd love to hear some new ideas!

Overall, I pleased with how the kids did, but both could use improvement in certain areas. We will definitely focus on time management and planning next year.

So What Worked?

Religion
Faith and Life 8
Baltimore Catechism
The Case for Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Confirmation Prep (for both kiddos)
CCD~ Religious Education classes at our parish

Religion was by far the easiest course for us. No book changes were needed. Both Michael and Therese passed their Confirmation tests and Michael will be confirmed next fall. Therese has one more year of prep and then she'll be confirmed.

English
Easy Grammar Plus
Daily Grams 7

This was the most loved English curriculum. Both Michael and Therese learned a lot. The lessons were easy to follow, understand and complete. I would recommend this program to everyone!

Math
Therese-Rod and Staff Grade 5
              Rod and Staff Grade 6
              Rod and Staff Grade 7

Therese completed grade 5, is almost done grade 6, and will start grade 7 over the summer. She will be completely caught up for high school. I am so proud of all her hard work. She's worked hard, by doing 2 lessons a day and completing lesson on the weekend.

Michael- UnLock Math Pre-Algebra
               Teaching Textbooks Algebra 
               Saxon Algebra 1/2 
               No-Nonsense Algebra...WINNER!!!!!
             

Michael had a few issues with both these programs. UnLock math had to many changes occuring in the beginning. Just when Michael would start to figure out how things were laid out, the system would change. He got to frustrated and then admitted he really dislikes doing math online. He prefers a book and paper. So we switched to Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra. He hated this! I know lots of homeschooling kids love it, but he thought the explanations were overkill. He quickly got bored, started out the window, and ending up wasting too much time. For our third switch, we went back to Saxon Algebra 1/2. I knew this was not going to be a hit, but we had it so I figured we'd try it. Half way through the book, I was tired of fighting, loudly encouraging (yelling), and pulling my hair out.I pulled out No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials from our shelf. We had started it, but stopped when his other math course was taking to long. I can't tell you how much I LOVE No-Nonsense Algebra. Math has become so much easier. No fighting, no tears(mine), and no blow-ups. Math is done and done correctly. He understands the lessons explained in the book and if he doesn't he logs into watch the video lesson. He loves the instructor. He's no boring and doesn't drag out the explanations. This is perfect for the advanced math student. Neat, simple lessons. No frills, no drawn out explanations. I need to see if they offer geometry!

Latin
Memoria Press First Form Latin
Chant CD

I'll admit it. We gave up on First Form Latin. The kids didn't really want to learn it. I wasn't the strongest in it and I figured if we we focused more on word roots and vocabulary, the kids would do fine. The can choose what language they want to learn when they start high school. Michael is currently deciding that right now.
We continued learning our Latin hymns.

Poetry
The Harp and the Laurel Wreath
Shakespeare

We finished reading The Harp and the Laurel Wreath. We've enjoyed the variety of poems included in this book over the years.
For Shakespeare the kids read Macbeth and worked through the Macbeth study guide from Progeny Press.

Geography
Map Trek CD
Mapwork will be based on our history studies.

History
American History~ 1920's to the 1990's
Home School in the Woods The Industrial Revolution Through the Great Depression
Home School in the Woods World War II
Great Literature
Collection of my own resources

We spent a lot more time on World War I and World War II. We briefly got into the 1950's-1990's. I know both the kids will get this history again in a few years, so I'm not too worried.

Science
Biology for the Logic Student
Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

Both these science books were a little too easy for the kids. After working through high school level courses, these seem like they were too simple. We ended up working through both books at a faster rate and I added more to the lessons. The best part of either of these programs was all the hands on activities and experiments.

Government
Founding Fathers~ A co-op class with our homeschool group. The kids will learn all about the 13 colonies, the founding of our government, and our government now. I'm very excited about this class, since it's being taught by a mom who used to work down at the Capital before she had kids.

Electives
Therese
    Photography

Dance & Drama~  Therese tried out for the play but didn't make it this year. There's always next year.
Sewing

Michael
    Cooking
    Life Skills & Outdoor Survival Skills (Bush Crafts)

Art
ArtAchieve
I'm still working on this one.

We love this program.....Great lessons that are fun to do!

Music
Listening to various music form our history time period

Clubs
4-H (we're trying out a new club for homeschoolers that was created this summer) 
~4-H was a no-go. The group was mostly little kids. There was just not enough teens to keep the kids interested in going.

Saint Zita's Home Ec. Club (Therese only)

~We finished up the year in May with an Ice Cream social. It has been fun the past few years, but is interested n=in bigger and better things!


How did you year go?



Till Next Time,
Monique





Kirsten @ DoodleMom
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Review~Classical Composition I and Classical Composition II from Memoria Press


Memoria Press Review

Writing is an area in our homeschooling that my children still struggle with, so when we were offered to review a writing curriculum from Memoria Press I was beyond thrilled! Michael and Therese were given the option to work through the Classical Composition I: Fable Set and the Classical Composition II: Narrative Set.




Memoria Press is a leader in the classical christian homeschool curriculum.  Over the past few years, we have been blessed to use a wide selection of the curriculum from Memoria Press. We've studied Trees, Birds, States and Capitals, Literature, and Latin. You can read my review for.... First Form Latin and 5th Grade Literature Set.

Classical Education


For this review, we received the Classical Composition I: Fable Set, the Classical Composition II: Narrative Set, and the Classical Composition Accelerated I Fable and Narrative Stage Lessons Plans.
The accelerated lesson plans allow students to work through the material at a quicker pace. This lets them complete both programs within 34 weeks. Students would spend 18 weeks on the Classical Composition I: Fable Set and 16 weeks on the Classical Composition II: Narrative Set. 





The Classical Composition I: Fable Set comes with a Student Book, a Teacher's Guide, and Instructional DVD. The course is geared to students in grades 4th through 12th. Students will begin to learn how to use words to write engaging stories and bring to life the imagination of the reader. It will help students write more creatively and have less boring stories.

Classical Education


The Student Notebook is spiral bound. The beginning of the book contains instructions for teaching the lessons, an introduction to the Fable Stage, and a Definition of Terms used throughout the book.The Student Workbook is broken up into 20 lessons. All the lessons deal with a different Aesop Fables. So for example, Lesson 6 is the tale about The Flies and the Honey-Pot.
The Lesson is broken up into 5 sections. Students will work on plot components, word variations (synonyms), how to create an outline, paraphrasing, and rewriting sentences to learn how to 
vary their sentences when writing. An appendix at the back of the book provides students with descriptions of the figures of description they will learn during the course.





The Teacher's Guide has all the same pages as the student book, but includes answers and suggestion for answers. The book also provides teaching prompts for parents or instructors. The appendix in the back of the book provides examples of the figure of description taught during the course.



The Instructional DVD is geared for the students. The lesson are well explained and lead the students through the writing process. The videos allow older students to work more independently.
You can watch a sample video of the DVD here.






The Classical Composition II: Narrative Set comes with the Student Workbook, Teacher's Guide Book, and Instructional DVD. The course is geared for students in grades 5th-12th.


The course is set up in the same way as the Classical Composition I:Fable Set. The student and teacher books are slightly thicker than the Fable Set. Instead of focusing on fables, this course focuses on narratives. Just a few of the narratives covered are The Song of the Vineyard, The Frog Prince, The Good Samaritan, and The Foolish Rich Man. Students will work on sentence variation, outlines, paraphrasing, and descriptive writing. This courses helps reinforce all that was learned during the Classical Composition I: Fable Set. Since the students will be reading longer pieces, their outlines and writings will be longer. This will help them begin to write more in depth work building their confidence and writing skills.

How Did We Use Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set?

For this review, we received one full set for one students of each course. I purchased an additional student workbook for each course. I wanted both Michael and Therese to work through the program. Since the kids were older, we are following the accelerated lessons plans I describe earlier. For our normal 34 week school year, the kids will complete both the Fable set and the Narrative set.



The recommended schedule is spending 10 days on each lesson, which means about 1 lesson should be able to be completed in 1.5 weeks. We found this pace to be very easy to follow. There were a few days were we had outside engagements, so we did double up on a few days. Again, we found it very doable. 


What Did We Think of Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set?

I LOVED it and surprising the kids enjoyed it too. Usually they hate any writing course we use. There was no complaining from the peanut gallery!

I found the course to be well-done and easy to follow. The instructions were great. I loved how it focuses on increasing the students vocabulary, which will help them grow in their writing standards. No more boring, simple sentences. In the few weeks we have already completed, I have seen a tremendous improvement in their writing abilities. The first lesson, both Michael and Therese, struggled to come up with sentence variations. They ended up using a thesaurus, a dictionary, and some help from mom. By week 5, they were becoming pros at it. I was impressed with how much they had already learned in 5 weeks!

Both Michael and Therese found the instructions easy to understand. The prefered the outline explanation a lot better than another writing course we had used in the past. I'll be honest they hated the other one. The outline instructions from Memoria Press were clear, concise, and made the whole process make sense. This was their own words. 

This curriculum was a huge win for us. I am already looking into the next two courses. I love how Memoria Press has a suggested scope. It even offers suggestions, that are completely doable,  for students that start the program later. My only regret is not giving this program a try when the kids were younger. I honestly believe they would have been stronger writers. I know that if we continue with the Classical Composition courses, my kids will be stronger writers!




Click on the picture below to read more great reviews about curriculum from Memoria Press!






Till Next Time,
Monique




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