Category Archives: reviews

Let’s Go Geography ~ a Crew review

Let's Go Geography

Geography is a subject that is always fascinating because there are so many facets to it. Whether you are looking for the language, culture, geographical features, landmarks, or other information on a country, Let’s Go Geography has a fantastic program. This has been a fun review that we are planning on continuing long past the end of the review period.

coloring a pageDesigned for K-4th grade, this is an online homeschool geography curriculum. Because it is online, you will need access to a computer, the internet, and a printer. From home, you will probably want a binder to keep the travel journal in and you will need basic school supplies for the activities. This would include crayons, pencils, map colors, scissors, glue, and few other supplies for specific crafts activities.

Let’s Go Geography was created by Carol Henderson. Mrs. Henderson has taught geography in a co-op setting for a while but decided to adapt her lessons to an online format for more homeschoolers to access. (I am so glad she did!!!) The program is a planned 3-year cycle taking the students from continent to continent and country to country. Each year of the cycle takes the students through at least one country per continent (well, Antarctica, Australia, and New Zealand are the anomalies for this).Let's Go Geography

The lessons follow a similar pattern for each country studied in the program:

  • map work, marking the country on both the continent map and a closer-up map when appropriate, which also includes answering some questions related to the maps and the country (mountains, lakes, borders, etc.)
  • a statistics page for the country
  • coloring the country’s flag and adding it to a map and/or passport
  • listening to the national anthem
  • videos that are related to important information about the country – the people, the geographical landmarks, the food, the exports, and more
  • a link for reading more online at a kid-friendly site and information on where to look in the library for printed materials on the country
  • a photo album with pictures from the country
  • a craft or coloring page related to the country

Watch the video of the lessons on the website.

This is a lot of information but it is simple and easy to follow this curriculum. Each country study opens in a PDF and all of the links you need for printing or videos are embedded in the PDF. You can even check off your progress on the website.

HOW WE USED IT

lighthouseMiss J is 8 and in 3rd grade. She has been working, somewhat inconsistently (my fault), on a continent study for the past year or so. This program was a perfect fit for her. We have enjoyed doing a country or two per week. She enjoys it and wants to complete a country each time we open the program.

Let’s Go Geography is written in such a way that you can do one country each time you use the program or you can break it up into several small sections and take several days to study the country. Either way would work well. This means it is an easy addition to your schedule and it takes almost no preparation.

Miss J enjoys studying the countries and we have found several things that have been rabbit trails in this study. What a wonderful things to experience.

  • She asked about maple syrup after studying the US Northeast. We dug ours out and saw it was made in Vermont. Perfect for a taste test.
  • After reading about maple candy and maple leaves with Canada, we found some maple candy at a store and got to eat it.
  • After watching the sugar cane video, she wanted to know more so we spent another 45 minutes finding more videos about sugar cane, how to use it, how to plant it, etc. That really brought Haiti to life for her and connected her to it.

That is what we are looking for in programs – connections! Let’s Go Geography definitely has that kind of connection for her.

volcanoes in Nicaragua

Back to how we used it each time, though. I would go through the PDF ahead of time and print off the pages we would need. I did not print the entire PDF for any of the countries since some of it is a cover page or instructions. She 3-hole punched the pages and placed them in her travel journal in the appropriate section (sections are by continent). We then would work through each of the pages – coloring maps and flags, pasting the flags where they go, answering questions, watching videos, and doing the craft or coloring page. She did either the craft or the coloring page for each country. If she had questions or interests that cropped up in the middle of the study, we followed them. If that meant we didn’t get through the whole country that day, it was fine. We just picked up where we left off.

lei from Hawaii

We often took this with us to her sister’s dance class and worked on it there, since we have plenty of time to sit and wait. It made a perfect project to take with us on the go if I printed it ahead of time. Except for one thing – when I transferred the PDF to my Kindle the links don’t work (we did still have internet access). The PDF reads fine but the links are no longer embedded. This is a fault of the Kindle, not the program. Easy to fix, though. I just planned ahead, opened the links, copied them, and emailed them to myself. We were then able to watch the videos.

While we have not yet reached a review lesson (lesson 12 is the first), the review lessons are really good! They review all of the countries studied thus far for the continents being looked at. There is extensive map work for the older students and plenty of good map work for the younger ones, as well, learning more about maps than has been discussed so far and encouraging as much work as possible to be done from memory. With matching activities and writing activities, the review lessons are packed full.

travel journal and passport

FINAL THOUGHTS:

We really like this program. It is simple enough to follow and do the planning for. But, best of all, Miss J enjoys learning and is making connections with the countries we are studying.

Miss J says:
It is very fun. I have no idea why they did not call it “Let’s Go Geography Fun!” I like that it has fun activities and that you can mostly do them all if you have a printer. I think my friends would like this.

At Home.

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read what other families thought about Let’s Go Geography.

Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Advertisements

Carole P. Roman books~ a Crew review

Carole P. Roman writes quite a variety of children’s books. From books about people and places to chapter books and character building books, there is sure to be a book that piques your reader’s interest. For the purpose of this review, we received the following

Carole P Roman

four books:

We personally own almost all of Mrs. Roman’s country series (A Child’s Intruduction to Cultures Around the World), most of her civilizations series, and several of her other titles. We always enjoy reading what she writes, as she writes in a down-to-earth style that imparts tons of knowledge while engaging the reader at a level where they just absorb the information. Her books are always a pleasure to read and share together.

Oh Susannah

Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag

This is an early chapter book, the first of two in the series. It features Susannah, a young 3rd grade girl who is just struggling. When something goes wrong with remembering homework, she doesn’t want to bother her parents with it because they seem to be having a really hard time. So she just stuff the paper in her backpack/bag and tries to forget about it. For breakfast, her mom is running late and so she gives Susannah a banana, her least favorite food. Susannah doesn’t eat it but instead stuffs it in her bag. One thing after another seems to be against Susannah having a good day and each time, rather than dealing with whatever it is, Susannah stuffs the reminder of it in her bag. Finally, everything comes to head and comes out of the bag. What a wake up call.

This was a good reminder for all of us that it isn’t a good idea to make assumptions or to bottle things up. We have to face problems and issues head on, dealing with them in a forth-right manner.

books by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived On…

This is a series of historical books that take the readers to different civilizations and cultures throughout the earth, history, or in one case, space. Mrs. Roman brings this series to life with imagination for learning about these new people and places.

Each book in the series places the reader in the role of a child in the culture/civilization being explored. Whether you are in the role of a boy or girl, Mrs. Roman gives examples of the types of names that might be given and that are typical of that people. The books explore dwellings, languages, clothing, jobs, social structures and status, beliefs, and more. Throughout, there are names that may not be familiar or easy for the reader and Mrs. Roman gives a helpful pronunciation for these. Each book also has a glossary at the back of the book. Some of the books have lists of famous people from that culture/civilization and perhaps a list of important contributions they have made.

Mars

If You Were Me and Lived On…Mars

While not a culture, this 43 page book is a fun look at what life on Mars might be like for a child going along with his or her scientist parents. We visit this planet through the eyes of a ten year old. We see the years of preparation that must be endured for the three year expedition.

After they land on Mars, we learn about where they live and what food the scientists try to grow. We visit important features of the landscape on the planet, as well as learn about the rotation and orbit. We learn about the moons, where the names came from, and more. We learn that the temperature and air cannot support life.

Mali

If You Were Me and Lived In… the Ancient Mali Empire

The beginning of this book shows the reader where the Ancient Mali Empire would have been located and gives us some of the geography of the region. We begin the journey through the eyes of a young girl in the 1300s. Learning about the city  and the buildings of the empire, we experience a different world. They lived in round houses of mud with grass domed roofs.

We learn that Mali was in a desert-like region, though close to the Niger River. There were many cities in this civilization and they all worked together. The government and jobs were somewhat intertwined in this culture. The young girl’s father is a general in the army and through this, we learn much about the military and weapons of the Mali Empire.

Boys and girls were considered completely different in this society and their roles reflected this. Boys grow into their roles in society, going to school to learn. They have a ceremony to mark their growth, become apprentices, and then become men. Men in this civilization wore tunics and baggy pants. Girls also grew into their roles, though they were only educated at home. At 12 or 13, they were expected to be married and know how to care for the house and family! Women wore a pagne (wrap around skirt), tunics, and headdresses. They also wore jewelry.

Food was also interesting for this group. From various grains to fish to fruit, there was a lot of food for a desert-like place.

There were several pages of famous people from Mali. These included Mansa Musa (ruler), his wife, his mother, architects, kings, commanders, scholars, and more. This 77 page book is so packed full of information that I have just barely touched on it all here!

Mayan

If You Were Me and Lived In… the Mayan Empire

The Mayan Empire fit perfectly in with the middle giggly girl’s current study of the Maya people. Needless to say, when it arrived on our doorstep, it was scooped up and read immediately.

The Mayan Empire is another ancient civilization in this series. The Maya lived in large cities, had trade routes, and flourishing trade. They had a hierarchy in their society and you could not move up or down within it. The family unit was important and they lived in close proximity to one another. The Maya homes were raised, had wooden floors, and whitewashed walls. There was little in the way of furniture and a fire inside for cooking and warmth.

Corn was probably the most important food item and was eaten at every meal. The Maya prized heads shaped certain ways, jewelry, colorful tatoos, and crossed-eyes. Creating these things was a large part of the society.

Covering much of the current-day Central America, the Maya were a very influential civilization. Mrs. Roman includes these influences. The Maya created a written language and authored paper books. The created a numerical system and discovered the concept of zero. There were a number of other mathematical contribution, as well as calendars, textiles, and more.

Miss J with Mars

My Thoughts

I really enjoy the books that Carole P. Roman writes that emphasize culture, country, and civilization. There is so much to learn and she packages it neatly in a story that children enjoy reading. These books have made a core for many studies we have done.

One thing I noticed this time, and it did sort of bother me, was that there are many typographical errors in important places and names. I noticed several in these books. Errors such as this don’t generally bother me because we are all human and mistakes are easy to make. The ones I noticed here, however, were important to each civilization. An example: Olympus Mons (Mars book) is listed without the s in the text but both the pronunciation and the glossary have an s on the end of Mons. Perhaps these can be fixed in the next editions.

These are a high quality product that will last a long time, with good information that will hold true for a long time. These are highly recommended by our family.

At Home.

Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Progeny Press ~ a Crew review

Progeny Press is a company that brings to the table something I struggle with – deep questions related to a story that force a student to think critically about things. We have been reviewing the The Bears on Hemlock Mountain E-Guide. This study guide is aimed at lower elementary ages. It has been a pleasant experience.

Bears on Hemlock Mountain, The - E-Guide

Bears on Hemlock Mountain is an early chapter book by Alice Dagliesh. The Bears on Hemlock Mountain E-Guide is produced by Progeny Press to go along with the book, chapter by chapter. My 8 year old (beginning 3rd grade) was able to easily read the book and use the guide. The guide does require quite a bit of writing, which is not her strong point, so we modified some of the longer writing answers for an oral narration. It adapted easily and well.

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain E-Guide began with a note to instructors who are new to using this style of guide and it followed that with a synopsis of the book. Next is an author biography and a note on the background of the story itself (old folk story). There are a number of “Before-You-Read” activities to help the students become familiar with some of the background and ways of the people and places in the story. There were quite a few of these so we did not do them all. And then you get to the parts that go along with the story chapter by chapter.

Bears materials

For the pre-reading activities, we studied animal prints with a poster we have, along with the different types of animal prints you might encounter in the woods. We also looked at trees, leaves, and bird nests. We discussed a hill vs a mountain and looked at some examples online. We also had a discussion about hospitality: what it meant, how you can show it, why you would, and more. Finally, we looked up several sites where we could listen to bird songs.

The chapter by chapter questions are basically set up in two chapter sets. This made it very readable and if the child struggled to know the answer, there was not a very large area of the book to look to find the answers. Each chapter set covered vocabulary and comprehension questions. The vocabulary was both single words and muti-word phrases that the student may or may not be familiar with. Because it included some phrases, it was not always possible to just look it up in a dictionary. This meant that this was not independent work. That works well for my daughter because she likes company, no matter what she is doing.disctionary work

The questions relating to the chapters varied from comprehension to making inferences to apply Bible verses. An example of a comprehension question is “What does Jonathan do to keep up his courage?” This was a low-level comprehension question because the answer is almost completely stated from the story. A deeper level question was “Uncle James taught Jonathan observation. What is the difference between seeing and observing?” I liked this variation on comprehension questions because often you get either the really deep thinking questions or the low-level question. Progeny Press seems to have included a good variation of both in this study guide.

vocabulary workThe Bible verse questions were all application style questions. They asked you to read a verse, which was provided, and apply it to a particular situation in the story. An example of an application question for a verse had to do with reading a passage from James and then discussing being dependable and telling the truth. The student had to think about being dependable, telling the truth, and why those things may or may not go together. Then the student was asked if you could have one without the other. What a wonderful, deep application question that wasn’t too difficult but required some serious thought.

The final part of the study guide was a page of mystery words. The student had to recall some words from the story and then use them to solve yet another word that was coded.

Overall, this was an age-appropriate and ability appropriate study guide for my daugher. This was the first of its kind for her and while she didn’t love it, it worked pretty well for her. It was easy and followed the book well so she could easily hunt things up if she needed to, except for the last set of chapters. For some reason, it went from two chapters in a group to four in the last group. That made for a  very long set of questions and a pretty big group of chapters to search through when she wasn’t sure of something.

I would also have liked to see some “after you read activities” included in the guide. I felt like this guide is definitely missing a hands-on set of activities, as it doesn’t have any except for the pre-reading activities at the beginning.

review of Progeny Press

Progeny Press is a very good company if you are looking for a company to prepare study guides for your student over quality literature and living books. They have a large catalog for every age level. If you would like to see more of our reviews of Progeny Press, we have reviewed the following also

At Home

Other Crew members reviewed one of these choices:

Click the banner below to read their reviews and find out more about Progeny Press.

 

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

The Greatest Inventors ~ a Crew review

The Greatest Inventors

Looking for a simple way to start our new school year, we decided that a week-long unit study would be great. Enter A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks and their stand-alone lapbook product, The Greatest Inventors .

Greatest Inventors Lapbook with Study Guide

A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks has been around for a while and got its start when a couple of homeschooling moms realized that what they wanted was not to be found. So, they created it! How’s that for ingenuity? That was the start of A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks (AJTL).

AJTL has many products to fit many needs. Whether you are looking for a stand alone study or something to accompany a curriculum you have purchased, AJTL may have just what you need. And if you don’t know exactly what a lapbook is, well, they have a page for that, too. Head over to their site to watch their video about lapbooks. But quickly – lapbooking is a way to simply document learning by completing mini-booklets in different shapes and sizes, keeping the documentation varied and interesting for the student.

We were able to use The Greatest Inventors, a stand-alone lapbooking unit. What that means is that the downloadable product (you can also get a printed version) contains all of the mini-booklets to create the lapbook as well as all the information in a study guide to be able to fill out and complete the lapbook. Each mini-booklet has its own page of information to read. It was a simple unit to complete and we were easily able to use it with our girls, ages 8, 11, and 13.

working on the book report form

How We Used The Greatest Inventors

I printed out all of the mini-booklets from the PDF file. I did not print the study guide pages; we accessed those on the computer when we needed them. I also checked out a book on each inventor from the library, since the study guide was not as high a reading level as I wanted for the two older girls. They needed more of a challenge. (The reading level was perfect for our 8 year old, though.) I placed the books and pages together on the table and the girls took turns picking the inventors they were interested in.

Some of the inventors –

  • Jonas Salk
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Guglielmo Marconi
  • George Eastman
  • Louis Braille
  • The Wright Brothers
  • and many more.

Each day that week, the girls worked on one or more of their inventors. They read the study guide and the books. In some cases, we looked up more information or pictures on the internet with a simple Google search. Then, the girls completed their mini-booklets, as well as the book report form that is included in the PDF.

working on da Vinci

The book report form is a simple form, asking for the name of the book and its author. It asks about the birth and death, the time period, and information about what was understood from the book. It also gives them a chance to be creative, designing a stamp for that inventor. It was fun to talk about stamps being a way to honor someone and their achievements.

Miss J presenting her researchMiss L presenting her research

At the end of the week, we had a presentation. The girls took turns presenting their inventors, the book report, and showing the mini-booklet that was created. We also used this time to open up a discussion about how each invention helped or changed the world. It was a fun day, full of unexpected learning.

Miss E presenting her research

Now, we went pretty far above and beyond the lapbook product itself. But this is a great example of how easy it is to extend these products to include the entire family in learning. Our oldest students got some good research experience, as well as having to present, while it fit perfectly the reading ability and interest level of our youngest. We could easily have just used the mini-booklets and the study guide and we still would have learned a lot.

everyone can change the world

AJTL has simple to use products, though you do need access to a computer and printer if you are purchasing their downloadable products. If that doesn’t work for you, they have printed versions available, as well.A Journey Through Learning

The Homeschool Review Crew had several products that the families were using. These included

These are just a few of the hundreds of titles that A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks has available. There is something for just about every study you can imagine. Visit their page to see what else they have.

At Home.

 

Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Everyday Cooking ~ a Crew review

Everyday Cooking

Picking up a cookbook and reading through it is just such a fun thing for me to do. When I picked up Everyday Cooking by Vicki Bentley, I felt like I was reading recipes my mom would have written down and tidbits of information from grandma. What a wonderful treat this book from Everyday Homemaking is.

Everyday Cooking
Vicki Bentley is a mom who understands quality – in love (just read her blog!), in family, in food, in instruction. From picking out recipes that feature healthy foods to ones that are inexpensive to make, this is a cookbook that can be shared or given as gifts, knowing you are giving them a useable cookbook. So many cookbooks out there, while they cover interesting and yummy sounding dishes, are just not practical, whether it be due to cost of ingredients or time required in the kitchen. Everyday Homemaking provides a cookbook that gives you both – ingredients you can afford and probably already having most of in your kitchen AND recipes that do not require an overwhelming amount of time to prepare so we can get on with the real tasks – loving our family.

cutting apples

An important feature of Everyday Cooking is that it provides instructions that are so clear and so easy to do that the children can easily help in the kitchen. All of my girls have used this cookbook to assist with food preparation over the past few weeks. Only once did I have to clarify anything and it was a term that you learn by doing (I think it was mince).

A feature of the book that I am excited to begin using in full is the list of dishes for the girls to learn. Included in Everyday Cooking is a short unit on cooking and it looks wonderful. Using it, plus all of the other tips, instruction, and materials other than the recipes, (and a tad bit of work on my part to plan and document) it will serve as a foundation for a home economics credit when they hit high school.

Some of the other materials included in the book are basic shopping lists, how to menu plan and a sample or two of how to do that, descriptions of basic kitchen accessories and equipment. There is a special section for low-carb and gluten-free helps, as well as a section for cooking with an electric pressure cooker. (This is where I learned that the Instant Pot is just a pressure cooker! My mind was shocked!)

Now, while all this other stuff is wonderful and helpful and quite a benefit, the real depth of Everyday Cooking is its recipes. Categories in the cookbook are:

  • breakfast ideas
  • appetizers and dressings
  • bread and grains
  • main dishes & soups & sides
  • desserts & snacks
  • low-carb and gluten-free helps/substitutions
  • pressure cooker (tips and recipes)

potato soup

The only thing I think would have made this easier to use would be to cross reference some of the substitution recipes. For example, when the CreamOSoup recipe is needed as an ingredient for another recipe, it would be nice to have the page number for CreamOSoup listed in that recipe. I have gone through my book and cross referenced those I found easily so that when I am using a recipe, that is one less thing I will need to locate.

Over the past few weeks, we have pulled this cookbook out a number of time and used many recipes. One of the first we used was Spiced Apples. Miss J did this recipe and we enjoyed it tremendously as it was very similar to a recipe we were already making.

We made her brownie recipe and Hawaiian Chicken for pot luck with our church. The Hawaiian Chicken did not work out so well for us, as we avoid flour in main dishes (I am allergic to wheat), and I subbed coconut flour in the CreamOSoup part of the recipe. It did not thicken well and when it cooled, the coconut flour got grainy. I will be playing with that CreamOSoup recipe to see what we can do with it without using flour. There are plenty of options; I just need to find the right one. The flavor of the Hawaiian Chicken was good, though! We definitely will try it again.

chopping for a recipe

The brownies were very different tasting than our norm but they turned out good. They were easy to prepare and they were enjoyed.

Other recipes we tried included the Chicken Broccoli Braid, pancakes, skillet chicken recipes, potato soup, and more. I have several others that I would like to try.

We also braved the Eggplant Lasagna, without the pressure cooker. Turned out lovely. We did not use the recipe for the sauce in the book because it is almost exactly like we do it from scratch without a written recipe. And that really sums up what appeals to me about this book – so many of the recipes are extremely similar to what I learned growing up and have been teaching my daughters.

Learning to cook to taste and from scratch – that is what Everyday Cooking by Vicki Bentley is about. Visit her website Everyday Homemaking plenty of tips, ideas, and other recipes. She also offers The Everyday Family Chore System for families, as yet another tool to help your home run smoothly and efficiently. Some of the Crew members were using this program so don’t miss their reviews.

Interested? Mrs. Bentley is offering a coupon code for my readers to use to get 10% off the purchase of The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking (print or e-book) through Labor Day! The code is TOS10books — apply it to as many books in your cart as you would like, but you do need to shop first and apply the 10% discount code last due to what Mrs. Bentley described as “eccentric cart functions.” Expires Sept 5, 2017. This cookbook would make some good Christmas presents!

At Home.

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

No-Nonsense Algebra ~ a Crew review

No Nonsense Algebra
As we continue on in our quest to learn the various math concepts, anything that presents in a new or different way is a potential treasure. When Math Essentials was up for review, the No-Nonsense Algebra looked like a very good possibility to assist us with some pre-algebra concept review.

No-Nonsense Algebra is a book that begins at the pre-algebra concepts necessary to be able to learn algebra. From there, it goes all the way through quadratic equations. That is a huge span of material but it is a compact, straight-forward presentation. Each lesson is a page or two long and consists of a written instruction, examples, exercises, and review of previous concepts. There is also an online video lesson to assist in the teaching.

This is more of a text book than a workbook, as there is not a lot of space between each equation or question. Additionally, the student is encouraged to copy down and work each step of the example, as well as showing all work for each exercise and review. The pages are definitely not spacious enough for that and using notebook paper or graph paper allows the student to keep their work lined up nicely and neatly.

video lesson

The video lessons are accessed with a code that is found inside the book. With that code, you just head over to the No Nonsense Algebra website where you will be able to create an account. With your code, you will have access to the videos for each of the lessons. The videos seem to run around 10 minutes in length, some a little more, some a little less. It is a video of a smart board with a voice walking you through the steps as they are shown on the board. It is a no frills video and the voice is straight-forward. The videos are not just a repeat of the written examples; they are an instruction in the concept.

HOW WE USED THIS BOOK

Since Miss E is working in pre-algebra, we asked to use this book as a concept review of the materials and concepts she has covered so far. We knew we would probably only get through the first chapter and a little into the second during the review period since those are the concepts she has worked with. We especially knew we would need additional work with negative integers.

What we found is that the videos confused Miss E a lot. For some reason, the instruction confused an already weak concept when it came to negative integers. With this being the very first lesson, it made the book a difficult one for us, as it brought tensions and tears. We pushed through the lesson over a few days, walking her through every example, exercise, and review.

I then took a look at the table of contents a bit more closely than I had and decided that we needed to work through the first chapter out of order. I found that the number line review was not first even though the first lesson of adding integers teaches and refers to the number line. Some other concepts such as the properties of numbers, greatest common factors, and least common multiples were pretty far down in the chapter yet those concepts were needed to do lessons that came before that in the chapter. This is a definite weakness of the book, in my opinion.number line lesson

Noticing that allowed me to reorder the materials in a way that made sense by concept and we tackled the book again. This time, we worked up through the materials, reviewing items that were the stepping stones to the next concept and it all made much more sense to Miss E. Her confidence grew and when we came again to the integers and dealing with negative numbers, while it still wasn’t easy for her, she didn’t have such a bad time of it.

WHY THIS BOOK?

If your student is ready for Algebra I or higher, this book is right up your alley. There are no frills. It is straight-forward. The videos are designed to help with instructions. No-Nonsense Algebra covers

  • Necessary Tools for Algebra
  • Solving Equations
  • Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
  • Solving and Graphing Inequalities
  • Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Polynomials
  • Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
  • Radical Expressions and Geometry
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra Word Problems

Included in the back of the book are the solutions (but no explanation of how to get the correct solution if you make a mistake), a final review, glossary, tables of important formulas and symbols, multiplication table, and squares and square roots.

With all that this book covers, I can imagine that it is a good review for a student who has completed algebra courses and is taking, or preparing to take, college entrance exams. It would definitely provide a thorough review.

All in all, this is a good book that just didn’t fit my girls’ needs. But, I am going to keep it around as I can see it being a lot of help in a few years as college exams approach.

At Home.

Read additional reviews of how other families use this book by clicking the banner below.

No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews} 

Crew Disclaimer

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! ~ a Crew review

learning Biblical Greek

Greek is not a language I ever really thought would happen in our home but At Home Dad was interested. He has been using Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set for about a month and seems to be pretty impressed with the product from Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

Greek level 3

We received a package that included three items:

  • Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! A Biblical Greek Worktext Level 3
  • Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! A Biblical Greek Worktext Level 3 Answer Key
  • Pronunciation CD for Levels 3 and 4

Greek ‘n’ Stuff has a number of products that include not just the Greek language studies but also some Bible studies, such as Jonah & Ruth, I Samuel, Acts, or Esther (which are other titles the Crew is reviewing right now).

Since At Home Dad is the one who used this product, he wrote the review this time. Without further adieu, here it is:

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!” is a progressive, long-term study of New-Testament (not modern) Greek, designed to enrich the study of the Bible. I think we have all had a moment of wishing we could read the Bible in its original languages. While I don’t hold any illusions of becoming fluent in Greek, I have wanted some kind of self-study for a long time, and never found the time, or a way to get into it. So I was excited to get to review this product and see if it would get me started on the path.

The study is designed for children, but does have recommendations to start on Level 3 for an adult beginner student. This is what I did. Based on the types of activities included in Level 3, I would say the first few levels probably correspond to elementary students. This was not a problem for me; it is easy to take the meat from the lesson without using the “entertainment” aspects of it. Besides, I’m easily amused anyway!

That said, jumping in was not exactly easy; the review at the beginning goes very fast when it’s not review to you, and I got bogged down just trying to learn the alphabet: there’s learning the symbol, how to pronounce it, where it comes in the alphabet, and of course teaching your hand to make this particular squiggly mark! That’s not the fault of “Hey, Andrew!”, but just a matter of patience and taking the earlier lessons slowly.

worktext

By the way, the study was only organized into “lessons” after the fact, because some teachers wanted it that way. The author originally wrote it with the intention of moving at your own pace, the ideal being about a page a day plus flash card practice. At that speed, Level 3 would take about a school year. Using a “lesson approach”, it is one lesson a week for the same length. By that standard, I am at the end of the second lesson, which concludes the alphabet review, and am about to go into the new material.

So, how did I do? Am I fluent yet? Not by a long shot! There are no shortcuts with learning a language, only good or bad methods – and time. I’ve had a little over a month with the product, and am still excited about it. Life happens, though, and I haven’t used it every day like I should have. Like most things, a language becomes easier through repetition, and I have many reps to go in this study!

I received the Worktext and the Answer Key, as well as a CD that included a Greek Alphabet Song and pronunciation of vocabulary words, in lesson order. This CD seems to cover Level 4 as well as Level 3. I was not so impressed by the quality of recording; there is a lot of tape hiss. I think a newly-recorded digital recording would make the pronunciation clearer. I also didn’t think the song was very memorable, but a child might think differently. As for the Answer Key, it is basically the Worktext with the answers filled in. There is some information on guiding the study as well. Unless you are already a Greek scholar, you are going to need both books!

Things to Notice:

One thing that I noticed was a lack of grammar tools as a part of the lesson. Information on punctuation, verb tenses, accent marks, and so on are not really a part of the daily lessons. They may be part of the earlier or later levels, or this may just be the approach. There is a lot of word-by-word and phrase-by-phrase work which may not appeal to everyone. I did find the information I was looking for in the appendices, but it was pretty basic. On the other hand, learning by word and phrase is the way we all learn our first language, so I won’t knock it as a technique.

One final note: parents don’t necessarily need to study along with the student. There aren’t really any open-ended questions; everything has a “right answer”, and it is right there in the answer key for you. It does seem like it would be better, though, to do it alongside them in order to add that little bit of “lecture” that guides learning in a lot of children. There is not a lot of written instruction; it is very much a “just do it” approach. An adult wanting a crash course in Greek will probably want to look for other sources to supplement “Hey, Andrew!” for that reason.

Alrighty. Me again. One thing I will add is that if your student is using level 3 after having had some Greek already, they will also benefit from having a Greek New Testament. Hey, Andrew! recommends some copywork and daily reading in Greek from it once they become familiar with some words and phrases. (Guess I need to start looking for one for At Home Dad now that he is moving into that phase.) If you have further questions, there is a good FAQ page on the Greek ‘n’ Stuff site with a lot of good information.

I am certain that At Home Dad will continue to use this and increase his knowledge of Greek, thus increasing his ability to understand the Bible better. And that is a worthy goal.

At Home.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read other reviews on Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! There are also reviews on the Bible studies for students.

Teach Me Some Greek {Greek 'n' Stuff Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

%d bloggers like this: