homeschooling

[Homeschool Review Crew] New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing the seasons of life in church. Between that message and this review, I feel like the universe is throwing me a lifeline.

I am thankful for the extra help that Progeny Press gave us with the Josefina’s Story Quilt e-Guide because maaaan, grace has been in short supply recently — and this book helped me get through our reading classes without much stress and worries.

Josefina Story Quilt

What is it about?
The story is in easy-to-digest length and it is perfect for practicing reading. The guide comes with a workbook so children and answer questions and work on some material as they go along.

Most reading guides I’ve used cover the reading comprehension aspect. Questions like “describe the characters” or “what happened in the story?” For this guide, it is different. There’s a surprising amount of technical English skills that was covered. For instance, the book explained what a metaphor is — perfect for us, since I’ve been introducing figures of speech to H.

But from the title, the most important aspect of the book is the Christian perspective. It had verses that it tied up with the story so that biblical principles are taught in conjunction with the story. A lot has been said about the value of prayer. It’s heartfelt.

The guide that we used is just one of the many titles available from Progeny Press. Other titles include guide for classics like Frog and Toad Together, which I am thinking of purchasing because this book is next on our to-read list.

On Our Impressions

The lessons are well-planned and easily executed. I think there are a lot of other activities that can be done to enrich the lesson more, like maybe a visit to the museum or making the quilt yourself. In our case, mom has been going through some personal issues lately so our lessons had to be trimmed down to the essentials. But, this guide still worked for us.

Which brings me to one point that I like most about this guide: it’s flexibility. Progeny Press recommends reading the book and then working on the activities over the course of 8-10 weeks. For us, we zoomed through the book and then worked on the activities over a shorter period of time.

I think this is a great helper for homeschooling families who need assistance with making a comprehensive language art content. For me, personally, it saved me a lot of time having to come up with activities and guide questions for our reading practice. Without going through the details, it’s such a relief in this season.

You can find out more about Progeny Press on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and You-Tube.

To read up on what other homeschooling families are saying about this product, please click on the picture below.

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writing

How the Zero-Waste Movement Became Cool

How the Zero-Waste Movement Became Cool

Image via Preview.ph

“Times are changing. Mutation is a real concern and giraffes are listed as vulnerable—a step below endangered—on the list of threatened species. Much, much scarier than ghosts.

Thankfully, also on the rise is the concept of zero-waste. It is a practice where people commit to producing as little trash as possible by choosing reusable products and not wasting resources in the first place.”

Read here for the rest of my article on the zero-waste movement.

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Want a Career in Fashion? This Place Lets You Learn from the Best

Want a Career in Fashion? This Place Lets You Learn from the Best

Image via Preview.ph

Jojie Lloren. James Reyes. Dennis Lustico. Jo Ann Bitagcol.

If you think we’re listing down some of the best in Philippine fashion, you are 100% correct. But, these people have something else in common. They can be your instructor if you enroll in a course with Fashion + Arts + Business Creatives.”

Read here for the rest of my article on F.A.B. Creatives.

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Proud to Be of Age: Influencers Who are Past the Age of 50

Proud to Be of Age: Influencers Who Are Past Their 50s

Image via Preview.ph

“In a world dominated by 20ish-year-olds like Gigi and Bella Hadid, it is safe to say that youth is valuable currency. But this rule is not absolute. Wittily dubbed as the ‘greynnaisance,’ the more mature set is welcomed by the fashion industry with open arms.”

Read here for the rest of my article on fashion’s new It Girls.

homeschooling

[Homeschool Review Crew Review] The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective

I received a copy of the Master and His Apprentices; Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentices to review. This review will be little different because my kids are too young  to use this so I was the one who actually used this. Here are my impressions if you would like to read.

On the Books

I got a package of the textbook and a teacher’s guide in digital format. There are also print versions, if that’s something that you would prefer. Personally, I’m happy with the digital version because the books are not light reading — literally. The textbook is 380 pages long so it will be too heavy to haul around.

It’s length is not due to the wordiness of the writer, but because of the information packed into it. The subject matter spans across cultures and time periods. With lots of areas to cover, it’s no wonder its big book.

The Table of Contents can give you a glimpse on how comprehensive this book is.

The books are more suited for older learners because of the details presented. From an old fogey like me to high school students. Students who go through the book can earn a full year of high school credit. But younger kids can also benefit from it. In our case, my kids liked looking at the pictures. The book includes hundred and hundreds of pictures of art works.

The material breaks down the topics into periods: The Beginning, Ancient Cultures, Classical Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque and Beyond. At the end of the book, there are essays and timelines that can help put perspective on what the book has covered.

The teacher’s guide has open-ended questions for discussion, worksheets, and even exams to come up with a more structured form of learning. I noticed the focus on these learning tools is towards analyzing the content. It doesn’t require memorization, but rather being able to describe a period in relation to another.

On My Impression

I think that the book covers a lot of topics, which  makes it worthwhile to look. Of course, this shouldn’t be surprising considering that art has existed since the beginning of history. As jam-packed as this book is, it doesn’t even cover art history in entirety. Possible Book 2 maybe?

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The book makes sure that even creation, such as animal diversity or properties of light, points to God as being a master artist.

The book really lives up to its title. One of the things I liked most about it is that in the introduction, the author took time to explain the purpose of the book. The idea of God as the original artist — he is the Creator, after all — and all the other artists in history are his apprentices, just jumped out to me. Honestly, I will be thinking about this my whole life. It’s such an beautiful perspective and I will be repeating this to others, of course, crediting it to this book, to anyone who would listen.

I like that the content of the book doesn’t just talk about art history, but actually tackles history as a whole. I think it’s important to provide context to the art to be able to understand it better. Even innovators like Leonardo da Vinci operate within their societies. Getting a glimpse of the culture and events at that time is helpful to making sense of the art produced.

But, one very important thing I think people should know about these books is that it is clear that the author believes in a young Earth, placing creation at around 4004 B.C. In fact, the book is very vocal about Christian beliefs.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise since it says so in the title. But I feel like since there are many differences even within Christians, this is not a book that you just assign to your kids. It is important for the parent to actually read through the book themselves and take time to figure out where you stand.

For example, I personally don’t believe in a young Earth, so it is something that I would skip or explain further when teaching my kids. I mention this because if you’re going to read The Master and His Apprentices, you will most certainly encounter doctrine and concrete teachings. Some might be in line with your beliefs, some might be contradictory. That’s why I think parents should read the book first, or read it alongside their kids, to be able to explain things further.

Having said that, the book and the teachers guide are well-organized and well-written. I will definitely be referring to this book when my kids are ready. Content-wise, it tackles the major points of art in history so this will make a good textbook for students. I also appreciate the Christian perspective and again, her main thesis of God being the master artist, is just (for lack of a better word) masterful.

To learn more about The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective, find them on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Master-and-His-Apprentices-245504999349223/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/themasterandhisapprentices/boards/

Other homeschooling families have also read the book. Find out what they have to say by clicking the link below.

 

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Hanging In There

Paper.Journal.3

Endless tomorrows, more of the same.

But the fury of today, I can, at least, tame.

Storm-blown forward, unsure of the way.

But I’m here, I’m here. Hold on to today.

 

 

homeschooling

[Homeschool Review Crew] MaxScholar: Multisensory Reading Intervention Program for Children

As the parent of a young learner, I am constantly in the lookout for new ways to introduce reading to my kids. One of the programs that I recently had the chance to use is the Reading Intervention Programs offered by MaxScholar.

On MaxScholar’s Multisensory Reading Program

The premise is based on the Orton-Gillingham method, which uses the different senses to reinforce reading skills. The advantage of this is that no matter what your child’s learning style is — such as visual or kinesthetic — they will positively respond to the program.

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Each area is designed to teach and enhance a particular skill set

There are different learning areas that come with the subscription to MaxScholar. First is MaxPhonics, which is designed for younger children. It is the foundation of reading because it introduces letters and sounds. For the MaxWords section, students are taught to build their vocabulary as well as learn how to spell. Notably, it also teaches Greek and Latin root words. MaxReading is all about reading comprehension and helps practice students pay attention to what they are reading. This part is fun — MaxMusic helps practice auditory skills using music. MaxVocab build vocabulary using games. Rounding it out are MaxPlaces, which uses geography to help build reading comprehension skills and MaxBios, which focuses reading about famous people.

On Using the Program

The account has separate logins for parents and students. Like most reading programs, the student can take an assessment test to see where their skill levels are. Although the test is optional, it can provide parents a better idea on which part of the program their child should start with.

One thing I appreciated is the well-designed interface of the program. The design is clear, uncluttered, and intuitive. Even dinosaurs scared of the computer (like me!) won’t have a hard time operating it. There is also an effective tutorial option at the beginning for extra assistance.

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Any program with a tutorial gets a thumbs up from me.

For our family, I intended to use MaxScholar to help H practice reading. Her reading has improved exponentially over the summer, so she was able to start practicing with the MaxBios section with assistance.

Incidentally, I get the feeling that the makers of MaxScholars are from the cool crowd because it had sections on hip-hop artists featuring Biggie Smalls and Jay Z. Tyra Banks is included alongside Helen Keller under the Amazing Women category.

On Our Impressions

I think the main advantage of MaxScholar is that it means what it says about the multisensory approach. There’s music, games, and other activities that keep the lessons from being stale and dry for kids.

MaxScholar lives up to its name in that there is a scholarly approach to learning, but there is also a lightheartedness about it that really appeals us. I can’t get over the fact that kids get to read about Jay Z and Tyra Banks! In other programs, this would be considered heresy. But why not? This to me also makes a very valid point about reading: you don’t have to be so high brow to be a good reader. Contemporary topics are just as good as Beatrix Potter-era books.

This for me is the biggest reason why parents should explore the MaxScholar program. More than the reading skills (which of course I think is also good), I think it teaches a love of reading that goes beyond the usual. Reading should be an inclusive activity and I really appreciate that this is not dismissive of more contemporary topics.

To find out more about MaxScholar and its products, follow them on social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maxscholarllc?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaxScholarLLC/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/maxscholar/

Find out what other homeschooling families have to say about this product by clicking on the link below.

Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}

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