4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Curriculum, Homeschool, Homeschool Family, Language Arts, Literature Base, Unit Study

Progeny Press: Farmer Boy Study Guide Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We have never read any of the Laura Ingall book series, I know how could we be a homeschool family and never read any of her books? It’s simple for us my son and I didn’t find the books relatable as an African -Latino family. When the crew was given an opportunity to review Progeny Press Farmer Boy Study Guide 4-6 grade, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to check out the series.

Farmer Boy is the second book in The Little House series, the story follows the adventures of 9-year-old Almanzo Wilder as he works on his family’s farm. As the book moves through the different seasons we learn about the chores of a farmer boy and Almanzo’s many adventures in farm life.

We have previously reviewed two other Progeny Press study guides and have found them to be comprehensive literature guides. We received the pdf and answer key, you will need to purchase the book or you can use the audio. Farmer Boy Study Guide follows the same flow as the previous guides providing the student with:

  • Instructor Notes
  • Book Synopsis
  • Author & Historical Background

Students start the study guide with activity ideas for pre-reading the book. These activities can include reports, giving an informative speech, map work, and much more. The goal is to get your student’s mindest prepared for the book as it whisks them away to the Wilder farm at the turn of the century.

As the student moves through the study guide the lessons are divided into chapters, some lessons covering more than one chapter. Students will work on vocabulary, literary terms, comprehension questions, projects, and writing. You will see Biblical scriptures reference in some of the activities, but it isn’t overwhelming and can be easily skipped over if that is your preference.

I really do like Progeny Press study guides and the Farmer Boy Study Guide was a welcoming introduction to one of the Little House book series. I like how we can easily use the activities that will work well for us and do some activities orally. The study guide can be done over a period of time or it can be used just as your literature lesson for a month. One of the other things I do like about these study guides is that each study guide works on character-building and moral lessons. Farmer Boy Study Guide is for grades 4-6, so your student can work independently.

There are a few more Progeny Press study guides I plan to pick up over the next few years. I really like how they have organized their guides and it’s not a bunch of busy work. The guides are affordable and are in black and white so they don’t eat up your ink. Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews of Progeny Press study guides by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/progenypress
Twitter: https://twitter.com/progenypress
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/progenypress/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ProgenyPress

Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Homeschool Family, Math, Middle School Math

CTCMath Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

I think the CTCMath is one of my favorite reviews to write for the Homeschool School Review Crew! We received a 12-month family membership and we absolutely love CTCMath it is a must-have for our homeschool resources.

CTCMath is an online complete math curriculum for grades K-12 grade. The online math platform comes with:

  • Instructional Videos
  • Customizable Printables
  • Parent Dashboard
  • Task Manager
  • Lesson Tracking and Self Grading
  • Record Keeping
  • Award Certificates
  • Fluency Games

This year we approached CTCMath in a different way, I decided to make the program a part of our weekly math rotation. Previously we used it as a way to supplement when my son needed help with concepts he was learning in his spine curriculum. This year we are starting from the beginning of the 5th-grade concepts and we are going to work our way through all the concepts in order from start to finish. I decided to do it this way this year because I want to pinpoint and find holes. So far he has been progressing very well and we have only hit one hole I am making sure we review this concept and have it reviewed.

Each week I assign my son 3-5 tasks a week and when he finishes those tasks I assign the next set. I decided not to do the diagnostic assessment when we first started because I really wanted to work through the 5th-grade concepts, just in case, the assessment placed him higher because this homeschool year we are focusing on mastery of foundations.

Since I have made CTCMath part of our routine math lessons I am sure to include them in my lesson plan and my son’s checklist. I set the task to expire in 7 days so he has all week to get them completed and I have his pass grade set at 95 percent and 3 attempts. My son likes to spread his task out but he knows to get them done before the week is over.

What I really like about CTCMath is how easy it is to use, the lessons adapt to your students, the instructional videos are clear, and give excellent step-by-step examples. Sometimes I will print out the instructional lesson and place the examples in his math folder so he can reference them back. I really like the flow of CTCMath because it is straight to the point and not boring. If you are looking for a lot of graphics and huge amounts of math gaming CTCMath has very minimal.

CTCMath provides extensive reports of your student’s progress that can be easily printed off and slid into a student portfolio. I also enjoy the 5th-grade checklist you can also print out and track your student’s grades.

I also use CTCMath when I tutor students in my home so I can help them better understand a concept when I am teaching. I find that the videos are very helpful when going over concepts and practicing areas they need support in. My son does use one of our extra seats to work on higher-level math concepts as he would like to learn.

CTCMath is an affordable online math curriculum it has won many awards and remains to be one of the Homeschool Review Crew member’s favorite online math programs. It can be used as a supplement or a full math curriculum. Students can do their lesson digitally or they can print it out. Highly adaptable students have access to all grade levels on their dashboards. With individual student logins, this is great for multiple families.

I highly recommend CTCMath for all students it is worth the cost and I really love how it has grown with my son over the years. Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ctcmath/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CTCMathOfficial
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ctcmath/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/ctcmath/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ctcmathyoutube

Curriculum, Education, Grammar, Homeschool, Vocabulary

Dynamic Literacy, LLC: Wordbuild Online Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We are testing family and this year when I noticed right away there was a substantial amount of vocabulary on the exam. For the last 2 years, we have worked on vocabulary-building activities through workbooks and curriculums. I was thrilled when the Crew was offered to review Dynamic Literacy, LLC: Wordbuild Online .

In all honesty, I had never heard of Wordbuild Online until we were presented with the opportunity to review it. At first glance at the website, I was very impressed with the scope and sequence. Wordbuild Online really concentrates on the prefixes and suffixes, Greek, and Latin roots. There are 3 foundation levels reviewing prefixes and suffixes with 25 units per level. After your student masters, these 75 exercises the students will move on to the Elements level which also has 3 levels of 25-36 units of Greek and Latin roots.

The company started all of our Crew accounts at the foundations level and to be honest with you I thought this was a great idea. Having my son started at the beginning was fine with me because I wanted him to take advantage of everything this online platform had to offer. Starting from the beginning also let me know where he was in his knowledge of roots and where I needed to focus our attention. Students are given a placement test at the beginning as well students watch an introductory video about the English language.

Students are recommended to work the 10-15 min lessons 5 days a week. I highly recommend that you do these lessons consecutively. I made this mistake in week one of us using the program and thereafter we worked consistently. Foundations level 1-3 are students 2- 5th grade, but I personally feel students should start at the beginning Wordbuild Online instead of jumping directly to the Greek and Latin roots. Foundations and Elements break the lesson down into 5 different activities. The requirement for

  • Day 1 Affix Square (Foundations)
  • Daty 2 Affix Adder (Foundations )
  • Day 3 Magic Square (Foundations) / Stair Steps (Elements)
  • Day 4 Comprehension Booster (Foundations) / In Other Words (Elements)
  • Day 5 Question Assessment (Foundations) /10 Question Assessment (Elements)

What We Think!

My SON LOVES this program! It is the first thing he does after breakfast, he has been very consistent with the platform. He learning and reviewing so much and enjoying watching himself get better. At first, he was getting a rating score of 2’s and I was concerned maybe we needed to do some review. I just sat back and just observed his work and I realize that Wordbuild Online was presenting these lessons in a different way than he was used to seeing them as pretty basic. Wordbuild Online was teaching him definitions and vocabulary and having him really dissect these words in sentence comprehension. Those few 2’s started turning into 4’s because he had found his rhythm and gotten over the learning curve.

I really like how Wordbuild Online presents the affix, then students define it in their own words using a new word. Then they work on sentence comprehension by using the new word and picking the correct use in the sentence. The students continue to work on many more activities that increase vocabulary, spelling, and review. I love the parent dashboard that is simple and you can reset it if you want your student to rework an affix.

Since using Wordbuild Online the last few weeks our current vocabulary curriculum has taken the backseat because he really prefers this over his book. When it comes time for the Crew to vote for the best vocabulary curriculum for the year we are definitely casting our vote for Wordbuild Online.

Be sure to check out the other Crew reviews of Dynamic Literacy, LLC: Wordbuild Online by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordbuild/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DynamicLiteracy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wordbuild_online/

Curriculum, Family, Family Life, Homeschool Family, mindfulness, Writing

52 List Projects: Journaling Inspiration for Kids!!

I received My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS from Timberdoodle Co. in exchange for my fair and honest review.

The last 2 years have been quite a roller coaster for everyone. Lately, I have been feeling like my son has lost a little of our connection. It could be just we are just overwhelmed with being in quarantine for so long and the entire family has relied a little more on screens which have allowed for some disconnection. I have been having some major mom guilt about not spending real quality time with my 9-year-old and I was looking for a way to bring us closer.

One of the things we ha My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS. After looking through the book for my son I bought the adult version for myself. My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS so happens to be included in the Timberdoodle Co 6th grade curriculum kit.

The My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS is a great way for your student to spend thinking and writing about things that matter to them most Kids will enjoy the fun list of prompts that help them reclaim their inspirations and aspirations. My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS is perfect for kids who are 8-12 years old. It’s during these years kids really start to come into their own and their personalities really start to shine.

My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS helps students to build “grit, self-knowledge, and acceptance”. Through completing the weekly list prompts with affirmations and parent support your child can navigate their way through adolescence with confidence. There is a “Grown-Up’s Guide” available long on the 52 List website that lays out 6 ways to offer support:

  • Participate and connect
  • Build accountability
  • Offer hands-on help
  • Give older or more sensitive kids extra space
  • Encourage group journaling
  • Listen and honor kid’s privacy

I found these 6 ways very helpful because the mom in me had to let go of the let me help you figure this out and just let him do it for himself. Each week asked him if he wanted help or if he wanted me to read his list. The layout of the journal is very simple there is 52 kit that is to be done over the course of 52 weeks so that is one list a week. The writing prompt is listed on the top and below students have 2 pages to write their thoughts. Kids are not limited to just writing they can do whatever they want on these pages, the journal also includes stickers.

How We Used

I decided that our journal time would be on Friday mornings after breakfast, I brew us some tea and set out both of our journals and special journaling pens. We chat a little about the week and what is to come over the weekend. Turn on a little Lo-Fi Hip-Hop and begin to write. There is no time limit we just spend this time humming to music, sipping tea, and enjoying our time together.

The “Grown-Up’s Guide” also offers talking points for each list in the My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS. I review these conversation starters the night before or while the tea is brewing. I personally didn’t want to have the guide on the table with me because I wanted to have this space free from clutter. Our journal time is meant to reaffirm our relationship and build his confidence. He has really enjoyed the last few weeks of our journaling in My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS.

So we’re slowly moving into our new homeschool year and I asked him what are some things he would like for us to continue to do, he immediately said he wants to continue our Friday journal time and has asked if his dad can get his own 52 List journal to join us some Fridays when he is home.

Final Thoughts

I have seen a great improvement in my son’s writing and creativity since using the My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS. We are talking more and I have noticed a decline in his anxiety and attention to detail. We have experienced some WOW moments and had some heart-to-heart conversations. This has been a great way to kick off weekends because we plan family games and movie night activities. I highly recommend My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS for your kiddos ages 8-12 years. This is a great journal for back to school or the start of the new year. Kids can write before bed or just when they need to decompress and express themselves. A great addition to the morning basket and poetry tea time or if you just want to have some quiet time. This is also great for self-esteem building and a growth mindset.

My 52 List Project: Journaling Inspiration for KIDS is available for individual purchase from Timberdoodle Co as well as it is included in Timberdoodle Co 6th grade curriculum kit. Be sure to check Timberdoodle Co. for your upcoming homeschool year and back to school needs by clicking the banner below.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Math, Middle School Math

Math Essentials: Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Have you ever found that one resource that was your #1 go-to when needing to supplement a subject? Well, Math Essentials is my #1 go-to for all things supplemental for math. When all as fails I know for sure that any of my Math Essentials books in my homeschool arsenal will get the job down. There was no doubt I was completely on board when the Homeschool Review Crew was given the opportunity to review the Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 I was definitely wanting to be a part of this review.

There are 8 chapters in the Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2, this newly revised 3rd edition is designed for middle and high schoolers. The Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 is perfect for my rising 5th grader because we are currently working on middle school math in his spine curriculum. Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 covers:

  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Geometry
  • Percents
  • Integers
  • Charts & Graphs
  • Word Problems

Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 can be used as a full curriculum or as a supplemental. Practice takes an average of 20-30 minutes a day with each lesson with a corresponding video. The company recommends you use the book daily for math success. There are 8 steps to completing lessons:

  • Review Exercises
  • Speed Drills
  • Work through review problems
  • Introduction to new material
  • Helpful hints & sample problems
  • Daily exercises
  • Correct problems

You don’t have to follow this layout, but I will tell you that it will make the lessons go by smoother if do.

How We Use

We use Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 as our daily math warm-ups or we use it on Fridays as our math skills review. The only difference is I work the review exercises on the board. My son and I play this game in which he works on his book and me on the whiteboard and then we check each other’s answers. I purposely sometimes get the answers incorrect so he can check my work and show me he understands the review. Sometimes I let him watch the lesson videos and other times I teach the lesson and then he works on the problems and I check them and help him with any problems he has incorrect. I do also correlate Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 with my son’s spine math curriculum for extra practice.

Final Thoughts

Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 is a great math review book, perfect for prepping for those end-of-the-year assessments and SAT/PSAT prepping. The lessons sequence nicely together so there is no worry about students developing holes in their math. I like that the lessons are short to the point and there are video lessons.

A great amount of problem-solving and logic activities. Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 is available in Spanish and Bilingual. If you are looking for a math supplement for your middle or high school student I encourage you to check out Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 from Math Essentials. If you are interested in checking out Math Essentials Math and Algebra platform code CREW2022 and try for free for 3 months.

Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews on Math Essentials by clicking the banner below.

Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Math, Middle School Math

Unlock Math: Unlock Math Foundations Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

I have 2 words to say FRACTIONS AND DECIMALS!!! Talk about a major panic button hit for this mama. My son LOVES fractions, but we started moving into higher-level fraction lessons and I started to panic. Just as I am panicking I look over the coming lessons and BAM DECIMALS!! This mama was a nervous wreck until the Squad was offered the opportunity to review Unlock Math!

What is Unlock Math

Unlock Math is an online multi-sensory math curriculum for 6th-12 grade. Unlock Math was created by a fellow homeschool family, which is a major plus in my opinion. If you are like me I am also refreshing myself while my son is working through the lessons. We are working our way through Unlock Foundations. Unlock Math covers six math discipline areas and a foundational course. The five areas of courses offered are:

  • Foundations
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Geometry
  • Pre-Calculus

Students are engaged from the start Unlock Math provides interactive questions with a continuous review for long-term retention. All review questions, as well as tests and quizzes, also provide links for your student to review if needed. There are step by step guidance for each solution if they respond incorrectly. The parent dashboard is comprehensive there is auto-grading, pacing guides, reports, and parent resources. The student dashboard is detailed with guides and a printable math textbook. Unlock Math has fabulous online customer service and math tutoring at no additional cost.

My son is working his way through the Unlock Foundations curriculum. The Unlock Foundations is perfect for us at this time because it is preparing him for pre-algebra and finding gaps and making sure he has a solid foundation of fundamentals skills he needs in order to be successful in Pre-Algebra.

How Does It Work?

Unlock Foundations is divided into thirteen comprehensive units and within those units there are six to thirteen lessons depending on the unit. What I really liked about the Unlock Foundations is that the lessons include an introduction and printable reference notes. As the students begin the lesson they will work through 6 steps:

  • Warm-Up (Material from the day before)
  • Instructional Video (Introduction to new concept)
  • Practice Problems
  • Stay Sharp Exercises (Covers previous lesson concept practice)
  • Challenge Yourself (Stretches their math knowledge)
  • Quiz, Review Test ( Every 2-3 days 5 question quiz, then unit test and midterm)

Our Experience with Unlock Foundations

My son is working his way through the Unlock Foundations curriculum. The Unlock Foundations is perfect for us at this time because it is preparing him for pre-algebra and finding gaps and making sure he has a solid foundation of fundamentals skills he needs in order to be successful in Pre-Algebra. At the time of beginning Unlock Foundations my son was working on decimals in his math curriculum so we started with unit ten decimals. My son has some experience working with decimals but I wanted to see how Unlock Foundations Unit 10 Decimals would measure up with my son’s math curriculum so I had him work on the Unlock Foundations unit 10 decimals lesson first then the next day we worked in my son’s math curriculum. I was pleasantly surprised that my son instantly did really well and used several of Unlock Foundations terminology while doing the lesson. He had no issues with the concept and when comparing the two curriculums Unlock Foundations went deeper into the concept than my son’s curriculum when we got to a certain area in his math textbook he nailed the concept.

For the earlier units in Unlock Foundations, I had my son complete the quizzes first after I reviewed the concepts topics because I didn’t want him to have to work on concepts he had previously mastered. At the time of this review my son has worked on 16 lessons and will continue to work through Unlock Foundations.

In Conclusion

Unlock Math is a comprehensive math curriculum that can be done digitally, hard copy, or a combination of both. You can also use it alongside any math curriculum as well as a supplement. Unlock Math’s multi-sensory approach really appeals to my learning, it is not overly distracting for him and it is to the point and easy to follow. I have used it personally to refresh my math skills so I can better help my student. If my student finishes foundations earlier within our 1-year subscription we can move to another Unlock Math curriculum at no extra charge.

The cost of Unlock Math is $299 per student for the year and you need to select which curriculum works best for you. We will continue to use Unlock Math over the summer for our summer math enrichment as well over the Fall. I highly recommend Unlock Math for homeschoolers and if you have a student who is entering middle school Unlock Foundations is a great way to ensure they have full mastery of skills before moving on to higher-level math.

Until the next time,

Mom and J

Curriculum, Family, Homeschool, Spanish

Whistlefritz: Educator’s Spanish CollectionReview!

Disclaimer: Complimentary Product Received through the Homeschool Review Crew!

When my son was younger I had a bad habit of speaking Spanglish to him. While I do speak Spanish fluently my son still has a bad Spanglish habit. The Crew was given the opportunity to review Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection and Educator’s French Collection and we choose to review the digital Educator’s Spanish Collection.

My son already takes 1:1 Spanish classes with a wonderful Maestra who is located in Columbia. He meets with her 2 days a week for an hour. She is the real deal and we love her no English in her class is permitted. While he meets with her 2 days a week and she assigns homework. I wanted to also reinforce what he was learning in class and that’s where Educator’s Spanish Collection digital comes in.

Educator’s Spanish Collection is a fun at home Spanish program for kids preschool to early elementary they provide DVD or Digital language learning videos, music, and lessons plans. They also offer a free home educators guide for homeschoolers. The Educator’s Spanish Collection comes with:

  • Detailed Lesson Plans
  • Digitals Videos
  • Digital music
  • Matching cards

Whistlefritz is a language immersion program, your students are immediately introduced to the language. I personally prefer a total immersion approach I feel students pick up the language better. I also like that music is included in the program because when learning a new language it’s important that you not only immersed yourself into the language but also into the culture. It is was nice that the program has a native speaker doing the videos.

Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection is geared towards ages one to seven years old. I wish I had this program when my son was younger because I probably could have avoided his Spanglish habits. Now we used Educator’s Spanish Collection a little differently from how it was intended. Since we are Spanish speaking family I was more interested in my son working on his ability to and write Spanish. The 174 page educators guide was perfect for this practice. I decided to take the lessons and write them on our big board and he needed to fill in in the blanks in his notebooks, I also did dication practice and he had to write down what I was saying in his notebook and use the correct the vocabulary word.

Educator’s Spanish Collection videos are colorful and packed with tons of vocabulary. The use of puppets and children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds is a huge plus. The fun songs are easy to learn and enjoyable. I didn notice that the digital version only came with 4 sheets of the matching card game, but I am thinking this may be and error because there are suppose to be 50 cards. We used those cards we did have for vocabulary and I plan to reach out to the company to get the other cards.

I highly recommend Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection for younger students, the program provides a solid spanish beginning foundations. I love how the instructor speaks in Spanish naturally and at the correct pace. Some may find this difficult but this immersion stops the unnatural flow of the language. The progma is engaging and the 40 lessons provide parents with helpful ways to teach Spanish. Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection is geared to younger learners, but it works well for older students for learning a second language.

I did have my son watch a few of the videos that were in Spanish only. I did this because he is familiar with Spanish only and I am I trying to break those habits of Spanglish.

Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews of Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection and Educator’s French Collection by clicking the banner below.

Homeschool, Education, Writing, Curriculum

Memoria Press: Classical Composition I Fables!

Complimentary Product Received!

We are on a journey to find a supplement for our 5th-grade writing curriculum, so I have been considering a few options. The Squad was given the opportunity to review Memoria Press Classical Composition I: Fable Set for grade 4+.

Memoria Press is considered to be one of the leading companies in classical Christian education curriculums. The creates a curriculum that follows the classical education philosophy of liberal arts, quality literature, and the great thinkers of the western tradition. A great deal of Memoria Press curriculums contains Christian values and biblical scriptures. I personally didn’t find the Christian additions overwhelming or indoctrinating and I have reviewed several of Memoria Press‘s curriculums.

Classical Composition I: Fable Set

Classical Composition I: Fable Set comes with a teacher and student guide. The set we received came with the DVD but the company also has a streaming option. I will be reaching out to the company to inquire about receiving the streaming service because we don’t own a DVD player. I was able to find some helpful videos on the Memori Press Youtube channel.

There are 20 lessons to be completed each lesson is broken down into 4 pages. The Fable stage covers the first 14 steps to mastering writing. In the Fable stage, the students learn 3 plot components:

  • Recogintion – teaches to look parts of the story they can relate to.
  • Reversal – teaches to students identify the characters and see when their character roles reverse in the story.
  • Suffering – the conflict.

The students then move on to the variation section in which they have to come up with 3 synonyms for the words listed and then use the words they come up with in sentences. I highly recommend having a thesaurus or dictionary handy when doing this activity especially if you don’t have a student who has yet tapped into their creative writing. In the outline portion of the lesson, students will summarize the fable.

Paraphrase the students will rewrite the fable using anemographic, dendrographia, and ethopoeia . I know what you thinking WHAT, trust me when I say I was right there with you on this one. The teacher’s guide is a lifesaver with this curriculum you need this don’t skip it. Students need to use their online and variation part one to complete this part. Then students will need to rewrite the fable by reduction, meaning they need to pull out key details and leave out the extra details in their writing. Lastly, there are Variations part 2 which is a direct repeat of the Variations part 1, but with different words.

Our Review

Okay so I know I said a mouthful above and trust me if you have the opportunity to look over Classical Composition I: Fable Set you will get a better grasp of the flow of the lessons. You can also check out samples of lessons on the Classical Composition I: Fable Set product details page. At first a little unsure about this type of writing because it isn’t how I learned to write and I thought my son wouldn’t be really interested in the flow. After reading the teacher’s guide and looking over the lessons I started to really understand the flow a little better and how this really works for a student who is a creative or logical writer. My son doesn’t love to write but I think because this guided writing he isn’t left to just figure it out himself. While I know you may be thinking wouldn’t this just be the student copying another person’s work? In reality, they aren’t copying the work they are rather enhancing it and putting their own spin on it. I do like that it encourages the use of outlining because this is something I am very familiar with myself.

Classical Composition I: Fable there is parent involvement needed especially in those first few lessons. The DVD/Streaming is of great need for this curriculum, I wish I would have had access to the live streaming. If your student has not had any formal mechanics in writing lessons I highly recommend you review these skills before starting. I would recommend looking at Memoria Press Introduction to Composition. Classical Composition I: Fable will help your student learn how to organize writings and encourage some creative writings of other’s works which will hopefully translate into their own writings.

Classical Composition I: Fable is a contender for our upcoming 5th-grade writing curriculum. It would be used as a supplement to our spine for creative writing and switching things up.

Until the next time,

Mom and J

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool

Curiosity Chronicles: Volume 2 Early Modern History Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

We love history in our home and focus on the gentle truth of history. We have several history curriculums we pull from and I always check actual true history that is secular. The gracious creators of the Curiosity Chronicles sent us their latest release Early Modern History Volume 2 to review.

We are no strangers to Curiosity Chronicles history curriculum; we actually own the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Vol 1 curriculums. My son has really enjoyed the lessons we have done and I haven’t found any questionable text. Ted and Mona have been long-time friends of ours as we have journeyed our way through history over the years. Curiosity Chronicles is a multi-sensory history curriculum that works for students with different learning styles.

We believe everyone has a place at the table when it comes to telling history.

Curiosity Chronicles

Curiosity Chronicles is not your typical history of the curriculum. Students learn history through snapshots of historical time periods and global events. The curriculum follows Mona Ted through history through dialogues. The students are introduced to the characters then they begin to engage in historical conversations and take your students on adventures learning about artistic, cultural, scientific, and political perspectives in history.

Students learn history from a global perspective. History is never dull when using Curiosity Chronicles kids will engage in meaningful conversation with you and want to learn more. What I like about Curiosity Chronicles is that the lesson is actual snapshots of history topics. I have found that a vast majority of the snapshots in the text are never mentioned in other elementary history curriculums. I am also pleased the company includes so much diversity in the characters, illustrations, and subject matter.

Early Modern History Volume 2 picks up right where Early Modern Vol 1 leaves off and starts the conversations between Ted and Mona discussing Catherine the Great of Russia. Early Modern History Volume 2 has 36 chapters that are divided into 18 sections. Students will study history snapshots from 1550- 1850, with topics such as the Haitian Revolutionary War, Empires in Africa, Bolivarian Revolution, American Revolution, and much more. We received hard and digital copies of Early Modern History Volume 2 curriculum package.

The complete Early Modern History Volume 2 includes:

  • Snapshots of Early Modern History Vol. 2 text
  • Softcover Insrutctor and Student Guide
  • Audiobook Snapshots of Early Modern Vol. 2
  • Digital Ted’s Timeline Kit: Early Modern Vol. 2

In both Vol 1 and Vol 2 we see Ted and Mona’s friends Arthur and Lily in the cultural corners at the end of select chapters as they highlight important artists, writers, scientists, and musicians.

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 is truly a fun-filled comprehensive curriculum. Students will complete written lessons, mapwork, coloring pages, puzzles, STEM activities, and my son’s favorite Minecraft challenges. Lessons can be done family-style and the company is adding extension activities soon for older students. There are sections in the snapshot that invite students to research more on the historical topic they are studying. Early Modern History Volume 2 breaks important historical events down the curriculum is designed to with the children and not at them. My son enjoys curriculums that he feels are a part of the discussion.

Students will learn to discuss complex ideas, develop critical thinking skills, engage in hands-on learning, and find tangential learning!

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 comes with a Teds Timeline kit. The Timeline kit comes with templates and pictures for your student to construct a wall timeline (color or black and white) or notebook timeline. We have a history timeline notebook so we will be using this instead of the templates provided. For this review I let my son decide on what area of time he wanted to learn about and he choose Section 31 Empires of Africa Chapter 61 Shaka forges the Zulu. He listened to the audiobook snapshot during breakfast and later during the day we went through the Snapshots of Early Modern History Volume 2 text. We talked about the Zulu, Swazis, Basotho, Xhosa, Boers, and Southern Africa. Through our study, we discussed the different biomes of Africa and the migration of the great people of Africa across the continent. We were introduced to the great Zulu warrior Shaka and his military. My son was intrigued by this chapter he started researching EVERYTHING about the Zulu people. He went to work on his assignments and his Minecraft challenges. He really enjoyed this sneak peek into our history lesson for the Fall, not sure I am going to be able to keep this one on the shelf until September.

I highly recommend Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 as well as all of the other history curriculums published by Curiosity Chronicles. The history is easy to follow and interactive.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Language Arts, Vocabulary, Writing

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

This homeschool year has been difficult choosing a language curriculum. I decided to go with the curriculum we had last year, but that was an epic fail. After 3 months of trying to find a new language arts program before our 2nd semester started, I ran across Royal Fireworks Press language arts curricula Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. The Melanated Gold Squad was offered the opportunity to review MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package and I was selected to review it.

My son is newly turned 9 and he loves grammar, we noticed early on he was gifted in this area of his homeschool studies. Finding a grammar curriculum that was both rigorous and amusing has become arduous. This year alone we have set aside 3 curriculums and decided on multiple review books. Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town has been the curriculum we needed to feed his ferocious grammar inclinations.

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is for students ages 9-11 in grades 4-5. Grammar Town picks up where Grammar Island leaves off with the continued practice of the “4 grammar analysis of (1) parts of speech, (2) parts of the sentence, (3) phrases, and (4) clauses.” No worries if you haven’t done the previous level as long as your student has a strong understanding of grammar they will be alright with starting level 2, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping into level 3 without previously doing level 3. Even though the curriculum is presented for children who are gifted/dyslexic I have found that children who are able to read fluently and have strong reading comprehension will find this curriculum gratifying.

Level 2 : Grammar Town Layout

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is beautifully designed with simple distinctive vibrant illustrations. The curriculum covers 5 strands Grammar (Grammar Practice), Vocabulary, Writing, Poetics, and Literature. The complete homeschool package comes with a lesson guide, student books, and teacher’s manuals (this includes the readers) for each of the MCT sections. The program in my opinion is designed to be conversational. MCT is not like your typical language arts curriculums you will not find the typical question and answer busy work. The lessons are intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. I found myself relearning and grasping a better understanding of grammar. My son instantly took to the Grammar Town book, he repeatedly would point out how he better understood grammar concepts.

There are 30 weekly lessons of MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town the lessons are designed to gradually include the other textbooks included in the MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package. Students should work at their own pace and make sure they have a complete mastery of the Grammar Town book before moving on to the next book. There are assessment pages in the books, but you can also download the assessment pages from a link provided by Royal Fireworks Press inside the book. The assessment pages are there to make sure your student is mastering the materials before moving on to the next section in the book. These assessment pages are not the same as Practice Town.

The very first-week students are to read the Grammar Town book on their own. I was amazed to see how intrigued my son was by the illustrations and the story. Several times he came to me and asked questions and wanted to discuss the stories. On the days we didn’t do lessons he requested MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his other language arts books.

Today lesson was intellectually restorative….Learning about the complexity of sentence structure and how all the the words we use in sentences are reflective of the 8 parts of speech that make a sentence cohesive. Thinking about it from that point of view makes sense into why a sentence must a have a subject and verb.

J

Caesar’s English is the vocabulary section students will embark on a historical language journey. Students will learn Latin roots, history, and word origins. Again students are exposed to wonderful visual and practice pages. Students will also see a brief intro to Latin roots in Grammar Town on the first pages. Practice Town includes 100 sentences of practice for students on the skills learned in Grammar Town and writing. Paragraph Town is another fun-filled narrative about learning paragraph fundamentals and punctuation. The poetry book Building Poems is metaphoric it is written to teach students poetry terms as if they are constructing a building. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town includes the literature books:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • The Wind in the Willows

Each book is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael’s “language illustrations”—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies

Royal Fireworks Press

How We Used MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town

For the first 3 weeks, we used the curriculum as the implementation guide suggests. I made little tweaks here in there. My son was introduced to some Latin roots and I wrote these roots on index cards for him. I also wrote out grammar cards for him of all of the parts of speech components. We also put together a vocabulary journal for words we were instructed to define. My son enjoyed the assignments on select pages, some of these we did in his notebook, and some we did on a dry erase board. The lessons are short we spent time in meaningful discussions.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town was used daily for the first 3 weeks and I added in some supplemental resources just to ensure mastery. After week 3 we went to a 3-day-a-week schedule and 2 days a week supplemental materials. I was sure to use supplemental material that would complement MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. Overall my son prefers MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his previous language arts curriculum and I have shelved what we were using prior. We are in week 6 of the suggested implementation lesson guide and have begun using Caesar’s English I, Classical Education Color Edition.

Wrap up

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is a rigorous and complete language arts program. If you are looking for a new way to introduce grammar to your student I highly recommend this curriculum. The curriculum does require parent involvement in my opinion wasn’t intense and I welcomed it. I enjoyed having conversations with him and seeing his face light up. The curriculum is designed for mastery and it is suggested you don’t move on until your student has mastered each section.

While the literature part I thought was going to be monotonous. I understand why the books were selected and remastered to complement the curriculum. I do hope in the future the company would consider adding some optional remastered diverse readers.

Would I buy Level 3 in the Fall absolutely! I again caution against not jumping into level 3 without going through level 2. You can get away with not doing Level 1, but making that jump into level 3 is not advisable. The levels don’t coordinate with the grade levels so please take note of this. If you are the type of homeschooler that needs tons of worksheets after each lesson this is not the curriculum for you. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is in a class by itself rigor without the complexity of busywork, this was more of relaxed conversational language arts. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town takes its time to ensure students really understand language and how they work together. I learned so much in the last 6 weeks reviewing MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town works on this sequence per their website:

  1. Do grammar first.
  2. Begin the vocabulary text after you finish the parts of speech in the grammar book.
  3. Begin the practice book after the entire text of the grammar book is complete.
  4. Begin the writing text once the four-level analysis is strong, as seen in the practice sentences.
  5. Begin the poetics text after the writing book is complete to develop expertise in controlling the sounds of sentences.
  6. Extend the curriculum with literature.

Royal Fireworks Press provides Overview Chart, Elementary Guide, and Secondary Guide on their website. There are seven levels to the MCT Language Arts program and there are also implementation videos.

The cost of MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package is $290 the company is also converting their books into Kindle format which may help you cut costs. This program is comprehensive and worth the cost. I highly recommend MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town if you are looking for a different way to teach language arts. Be sure to check out the other squad’s reviews of Royal Fireworks Press curriculums.

Until the Next,

Mom and J