Our Line Up for the New Year

When we first stared homeschooling, we thought we would pick out one curriculum, use it for every subject and then pass it on down the line to the next child.  Our learning curve was quick in realizing that each of our children learns a bit differently and responds to different ways that material is presented to them.  We have some readers, some listeners, some watchers, and some doers. Do we cater to each child in every subject? That would be a resounding NO, because spelled a little differently this would mean sheer exhaustion and INSANITY for mom.  We combine some subjects we are doing this year with the boys in science, we pass down some curriculum in honor of living on a budget, and we do customize when there is a good reason to do so. Without further ado, here is what we are using this year at the True Light Christian Academy from the top down.  Our high school students had a lot of say in the planning of our new year, while Dad and I laid out the plan for the boys.

**Please be sure to click on the links to read our review of these curriculum choices.

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11th Grade (drumroll…)

American Literature and History – Notgrass Bible – Incorporated in Notgrass and Apologetics class from co-op Advanced Mathematics – Saxon Easy Essay Writing – Bridgeway Homeschool Academy (review to come) Grade 11 Essay Writing and Research Paper – Excellence in Writing Discovery of Deduction (Deductive Logic) – Classical Academic Press French – Auralog Tell Me More Science – we are still considering an option for this year in reserving physics for her senior year Financial Concepts – Dave Ramsey (taken at co-op) Communications & Journalism (taken at co-op) SAT/ACT Preparation – Kaplan

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10th Grade (drumroll maestro…)

World Literature – studying Pride and Prejudice, The Screwtape Letters, and a Day No Pig Would Die using the Progeny Press Study Guides. Writing Fiction in High School – Sharon Watson Advanced Algebra – Life of Fred Series World History – Bob Jones Press Introduction to Agriscience – Christian Light Publishing Biology – Bridget Ardoin’s Science for High School French – Auralog Tell Me More Piano Suite – Adventus Bible – Apologetics class at co-op Critical Thinking – class at co-op

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8th Grade (huge drumroll…)

Literature – biographies from Christian Heroes: Then & Now Series (Youth With a Mission) to correspond with our study of Geography.  Stay tuned for our review coming soon. Grammar – Easy Grammar Plus Spelling 5 – All About Spelling Teaching the Story: Writing Fiction for Grades 5-8 supplemented with materials from WriteShop Math – Essentials in Math (Middle School/High School book 2) World Geography – Teacher Resource Materials research guide to World Geography and Global Art Oceanography – Apologia’s Zoology 2 and Supercharged Science Because You are Strong bible study – Doorposts Woodworking Anatomy – class at co-op Creative Ministries – class at co-op Hunting & Survival Skills – class at co-op

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4th Grade (drumroll with a flare)

Reading 4 – Bob Jones Press Grammar and Writing 4 – Bob Jones Press Spelling 4 – All About Spelling Cursive Success – Handwriting without Tears Math 5/4 – Saxon Oceanography – Apologia’s Zoology 2 and Supercharged Science Heritage Studies 4 – Bob Jones Press Beginning Piano – Adventus Kids Theatre – class at co-op Equine Science – class at c0-op We are excited that the kids will also be playing sports on the Georgetown Crusader teams and through Upward Sports.  They will also continue pursuing their own special interests. Our family has been blessed to be a part of the TOS Review Crew this past year.  The reviews highlighted in this post are curriculum we received as a part of being part of this great team.  If you are a blogger and homeschool, I will be happy to share more about how your family can be a part of this team during their next review year.

Review of the Week – The Discovery of Deduction

Our homeschooling journey has brought us into the high school years of Algebra, Chemistry, World History, foreign languages, and yes – elective credit hours. Like many families, we try to obtain some kind of balance in allowing these electives to be fun, driven by our child’s passions, and also enriching. We are not fans of fluff electives just to fill in the grid toward graduation credits. Our latest discovery in this area is The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic that is published by Classical Academic Press.

The Discovery of Deduction is a formal logic course that is geared toward high school level students and can also be utilized by eighth graders. It is written to the student in a way that is easily understandable to them while still teaching them the appropriate vocabulary associated with formal logic. The course begins with an introduction to what is formal logic and how it is different from informal logic as well as the different types of reasoning in logical arguments. A history of logic is provided next. These elements make up Unit I of the course. Unit II focusses on Propositions and their Relationships. Unit III’s emphasis is on Categorical Syllogisms. A section on Terms and Definitions in Disputes and Disagreements is presented as the concluding unit in the curriculum. The soft-cover student text also contains five appendices that provide illustrations and forms that help the students better understand the concepts presented in the various sections of the book. The Student Workbook/Text is 324 pages in length and retails for $26.95.

Student Textbook

There is a accompanying Teacher’s Edition for this course. The Teacher’s Edition contains copies of the pages in the student text with the answers to the questions presented to the students filled in. Contained in the student text are dialogue questions that require a greater amount of discussion or longer written responses. These lengthier responses and the key elements to look for are contained in an additional section in the back of the Teacher’s Edition. The Teacher’s Edition is 349 pages in length and retails for $29.95.

When our materials arrived for this review, I was somewhat nervous about getting started since I have had no instruction in formal logic myself. Our 16 year old daughter who was going to be using these materials as part of our review had taken a Critical Thinking / Logic class last year at our homeschool group and was somewhat familiar with the concepts that would be presented in greater depth. In most of her subjects she is very self-directed, so we decided that we would actually do the logic lessons together. We got to spend some quality time together learning more in an area that interests her and I got to benefit from learning a bit about formal logic.

We began by referring to the Suggested Schedule that can be found on the Classical Academic Press website. You can find it by clicking here. If the student were to adhere to this schedule, the course could be completed in a single semester with the student completing sections in the curriculum 5 days each week. We generally were able to do 3 to 4 sections per week during the 4 weeks that we were reviewing this curriculum. Generally, my daughter and I took turns reading the pages in the text out loud. She would then take a few minutes to work through the assigned exercises for the day while I made us some tea. We would then get back together to discuss the responses she came up with to the questions and share the dialogue activity together. Our time in studying formal logic came to be something we looked forward to in sharing her journey in learning in a way that we do not do as often as we both would like.

Our experience with Classical Academic Press’ The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic has been a very positive one. It is definitely not a fluff elective, but one that is stretching our daughter’s thinking and even something she is incorporating into her writing assignments as she writes persuasive essays or papers that are on more controversial subjects. This is a review product that we will definitely be continuing to use in building another block in educational foundation.

I would like to note that the suggested schedule for this course shows time allotted for chapter quizzes. The publisher does note a the top of the suggested schedule that quizzes are not included with the texts and are also not available at this time from them. I did not take the time to create formal quizzes on the content of each chapter. If you felt it was necessary for your child to have tests or quizzes for this course, you would need to construct these yourself.

You can also click here to see a full sample chapter from this resource for further consideration. Don’t miss out on what others are saying in their reviews of this curriculum. Click on the button below to see what other crew members are saying.

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Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

 

 

Review of the Week – God’s Great Covenant

As spring is approaching, homeschool moms everywhere are already gearing their minds up for conventions and selecting curriculum for the coming year. We begin having math books, writing helps, and science experiment kits dance like sugar plums in our heads on Christmas Eve. Some subjects are easier than others. Bible as a class subject has always been a difficult one for me, especially in the last days of Winter and early days of Spring when our school days can sometimes feel stuck in a rut as if it were deep fields of mud in the midst of those Spring Showers. Although it is sadly a part of most of our lives at some point, I have never wanted my children to experience the study of God’s Word as being “stuck in a rut”. I honestly still waiver on whether Bible should be treated as a school subject or just part of our normal daily routine much like brushing our teeth.  As most moms, my desire is for my children to just instinctly pick up their Bible in the morning and spend time with the Lord as much as they desire coming down in their pajamas to eat breakfast. In the midst of this struggle, the boys and I began a new study utilizing the materials, God’s Great Covenant – Old Testament 1, from Classical Academic Press.

God’s Great Covenant – Old Testament 1 is part of a three book series. The additional resources are Old Testament 2 and New Testament 1  These studies are designed to be used with students in grades 3-6. Each study has a teacher’s edition book, student book, and audio files. Additional resources that can also be purchased, but we did not review, are a maps and timeline set.  The student book has 32 chapters with a similar layout in each chapter. The first page of the chapter is what I would term a summary resource page. It lists the Bible chapter(s) that the study chapter is based on, the theme of the chapter, the memory verse, key facts to remember, key highlighted terms to learn, and a Who is God? question that helps students to better define God as based on the learning in the chapter. The summary page is followed by the chapter reading which usually spans 2 pages.  After the reading, students are provided with review worksheets and a chapter quiz. The softbound student book is intended to be written in and is therefore consumable.

Student Book

 

The Teacher’s book for this study contains images of the student pages, an abundance of notes that contain biblical references for the material shared in the student pages, space for you to write your own notes, and a series of catechism questions that can be reviewed and memorized. The teacher’s book is softbound like the student book, but could be reused over the years. The audio MP3 files that accompany the study contain the same material as on the reading pages of the student book. These can be downloaded to your computer and then either played from there, from an MP3 player, or burned onto a CD for use in your car.

Now for the nuts and bolts of exactly what we found when we got knee deep into this study. My boys really loved it. We began each chapter with reading the Bible passage. The boys alternated in reading sections of the passage outloud followed by a review of the memory verse for the chapter. I would then have the boys look over the worksheets. We have been working on our active listening skills, so having a directed means of fine tuning what we are listening for really helped in this area. Generally, I would then read the reading pages to them while they followed along. It was nice that the student pages were full images in the Teacher’s book. This allowed me to read to them without having to borrow one of their books. Because we had already reviewed the information on the worksheets, the boys were very excited and animated in filling in the blanks as we worked through this together. We did use the audio files in alternating chapters to add variety to our study. The narration on these files was clear and in a voice that is pleasing and engaging to the listener. I could see us using these files to a much greater degree if we were ever doing the study on a long trip while in the car or even as review during the week in reviewing the material.

The one aspect that I really like about the Teacher’s book was the abundance of biblical references that are footnoted to the images of the student pages. Our family believes that the Bible is truly the inspired Word of God and we need to be very careful about adding to or taking away from it through our own interpretation. The fact that the “narrated” translation of the student pages have substantial biblical references allows me as a parent to test the authenticity of what the publisher is sharing in the student reading pages. This would also be a wonderful study guide for parents that are new believers themeselves desiring a greater understanding of the material that is being presented to their children.

All in all, God’s Great Covenant – Old Testament 1 received a big thumbs up from our boys and will be something we continue with. If our pace continues in completing one chapter per week, this study would fill in one academic year. The materials are reasonably priced in comparison to other curriculum with the Teacher’s book retailing for $24.95, the student book for $22.95, and the audio files at $9.95. Even though they are comparable in cost to other curriculum, the cost may be the one obstacle for some families.

The materials are well written, friendly to both the adult and student eye, and well structured in the layout of the study. Our family honestly did not use the chapter quizzes when completing each chapter. It went back to my own struggle in making our study of God’s Word too school like and killing their joy in falling in love with our Savior. I am sure that you can successfully do both, but we are still trying to work this out for our family.

God’s Great Covenant is a study that is definitely worth considering, especially if you are desiring to buy a Bible curriculum for your children. Dont’ just take my word on it, but also check out what otheres on The Homeschool Review Crew have to share.

 

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Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.