Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Master Angle

The Master Angle
Master Innovations, Inc
Donna Monck

I was thrilled when Master Innovations, Inc. sent me a copy of their Master Angle and the Mastering the World of Angles workbook. As a member of the TOS Crew, I was given their program to use with my children in exchange for my honest review of the Master Angle. My first impression was, "Wow! A geometry curriculum made for students in grades 1-4. " The full-circle protractor looked very different from the typical half circle protractor that most high school student use. I decided to use the Master Angle with my 9 year old daughter, Karina.

The 76 page consumable workbook is printed in black and white with an easy to read font. The graphics are clear and the text was easy for my daughter to understand. I was impressed with the content of the program. It was not watered down and the master angle was very easy for my daughter to use. She was not only able to measure angles accurately, but she also understood the concepts that were introduced.The course begins with a basic introduction to lines, rays and angles. These concepts are then reinforced with hands on activities. Karina was quickly able to distinguish between acute, obtuse and right angles. She also learned how to construct angles using the Master Angle. Next, reflex and straight angles were presented, followed by learning about complementary , supplementary, adjacent and vertical angles. These are concepts that many students do not master until high school. Many of the definitions were learned through discover, rather then memorization. Now that is how I want my children to learn.

Overall, I loved this program! Karina enjoyed using the protractor and gained a great foundation for her future math studies. I wish I used this with my older children , prior to their upper level math studies. My only complaint is that the company doesn't make a workbook for upper level students. Although, I'm sure it could be modified easily to use with older students.

The Master Angle can be purchased at for $5.95 and the workbook is available for $15.95.

Click the banner below to see what others had to say about the Master Angle and the other products available at Master Innovations, Inc.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christian Kids Explore Biology

Christian Kids Explore Biology
By Stephanie L. Redmond
Bright Ideas Press

Stephanie Redmond has created the perfect science program that meets the needs of the Christian homeschool family. Christian Kids Explore Biology was developed by a fellow homeschooling mom, who found it difficult to find a science program from a creationist perspective that met the needs of her elementary aged children. The result is a thirty-five lesson biology curriculum that is geared for children in third thru sixth grade. The program takes a hands-on approach of exploring science, which is wonderful for the targeted population.

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a free copy of Christian Kids Explore Biology to use in my homeschool in exchange for an honest review of the curriculum. Over the past six weeks I have used this program with my nine year old daughter, Karina. Overall, I found the lessons easy to follow and they took only sixty to ninety minutes twice a week to complete. The program is divided into eight units:
Unit One: Biology Basics- 5 lessons
Unit Two: Plants in God’s World- 5 lessons
Unit Three: Birds of the Earth- 3 lessons
Unit Four: Mammals in the Wild- 5 lessons
Unit Five: The Human Factor- 4 lessons
Unit Six: Reptiles All Around- 4 lessons
Unit Seven: Insects High and Low- 3 lessons
Unit Eight: Water Creatures- 6 lessons

Each unit begins with a list of vocabulary words and materials needed to complete the unit. The author suggest beginning each lesson with "Teaching Time". This includes reading the text aloud or by allowing older students to read the text to themselves. Beautifully detailed coloring sheets are included for children to color as they listen to the lesson. We chose to make our vocabulary flashcards as we read the text. After the text is read, a few minutes are spent reviewing the flashcards from previous lessons. Next, the students should spend a few minutes updating their notebooks by summarizing the reading.Finally, the student will spend time doing outside reading and/or research on the topic being studied.Christian Kids Explore Biology is a perfect fit for those using the classical approach. There is a complete list of living books to use for supplemental reading. The student should then complete a Daily Reading Sheet to document any outside reading. This sheet becomes part of their science notebook.Karina and I found the lessons to be interesting and we were pleased with the inclusion of scriptures in each lesson.

By far, Karina's favorite part of the program was the second part of each lesson.On day two, the studenta have "Hands-On Time", where the students have the opportunity to complete a project that will reinforce the concepts taught during "Teaching Time". Some of the activities include making a papier-mache earth, a 3D cell, building a terrarium and dissecting an owl pellet.

After completing each unit, there is a "Show What You Know" review that can be used as a unit test or just as a review of the unit.The book also has an extensive appendix, including:
*Reproducible Forms and Maps
*Memorization or Reference List
*Scriptures-easily reproduced on card stock
*Introductions and Art For ABC Book -for younger students
* Additional Coloring Pages
*Recipes and Supplemental Activities
* Answer Key
*Suggested Further Reading

Overall, I think this science curriculum is perfect for a family with several elementary age children. The program can also be easily adjusted for students younger than third graders. However, it does not provide enough material to use with students beyond sixth grade. I found that it required little preparation time and the required materials were mostly household items. Many of the recommended books were available at our local library. This 291 page paperback book is sold by Bright Ideas Press for $34.95 and the optional student activity e-book is sold for $12.95. This e-book includes all the reproducible pages found in the teachers book and is sold as a single family license. A co-op licenses is also for sale on their website. In addition to the Biology program, they also sell Christian Kids Explore Physics, Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space, and Christian Kids Explore Chemistry.

Click the banner below to see what others had to say about Christian Kids Explore Biology

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Freebie Friday


This week's freebies are from a great free resource "The Home
Educators Association of Virginia"( HEAV). I hope these are a blessing to you and your family. You can find HEAV at

The first website offers a Free Thanksgiving Unit

This free, 56-page file has basic Thanksgiving history, notebooking pages for all ages, lapbooking pages, word searches, and Thanksgiving vocabulary (with vocabulary cards), and comes ready for you to download. Go to the first link to preview the unit and the second link to download it. Materials suit many age levels.

The next website offers a Free E-book: Getting Kids to Cooperate and Become Team Players

Getting Kids to Cooperate and Become Team Players: 10 Essential Strategies and Solutions is a free e-book available from the Confident Mom website. The author says, “Take it from a mom who has three kids, I know getting your children to start cooperating won’t happen on its own!” She offers strategies to help develop family teamwork. Send in your name and e-mail address for her newsletter and she will send you your free copy.

The third website offers Free Foreign Service Institute Language Courses

These language courses, developed by the Foreign Service Institute and the United States government, are in the public domain and therefore free of charge. This independent, non-profit website, which is not affiliated with any government entity, makes them available in electronic form for anyone interested!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break! There will be no Freebie Friday next week,
see you in December.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used in many ways including as a homeschooling curriculum or afterschool tutorial. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Freebie Friday


If you have been in any stores this past week, I am sure you would agree that it "beginning to feel a lot like Christmas
So this week I will be sharing more holiday freebies.

The first link is for a free e-book which is filled with ideas to help make your holiday special.2010 Holiday Digital Supplement/Idea Book

Illuminate your Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays with the help of a special present from a trusted homeschooling friend . . .Enjoy a fabulous free gift from The Old Schoolhouse®! Wrap your family in a ribbon of thankfulness and joy and season your holiday with laughter, love, and togetherness. FREE!

The next website is . On Cyber Monday, November 29th they will give you 20 completely free, new homeschool resources. Don't forget to log on and click away!

Totally unrelated to the two previous freebie, is a wonderful website that offers a French tutorial program.

Remember, if you know of a free resource online, please let me know so I can share it in an up coming Freebie Friday.
Have a fabulous week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Write Foundation

Sentence to Paragraph Writing Instructions
The Write Foundation
By Rebecca Celsor

Teaching my children to write well has always been a challenge. Over the years, I have tried numerous writing curriculum and have never found one that both my children and I love. Well, that was until The Write Foundation sent me a copy of their Level One: Sentence to Paragraph Writing Instructions to review. As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I received a free copy of this writing program to use with my children in exchange for my honest opinion.

The program includes three components; Spiral Instruction Manuals, Student Worksheets and The Sentence to Paragraph Additional Resources CD. Materials not included are the optional Mind Bender Books A1, A2, A3, and A4. which are available at and a three ring binder with 8 dividers.

The Level One program is geared to students ages 11-14 or students who exhibit any of the following issues: If your student has any run-ons or incomplete sentences when he writes on his own; If your student hates writing; or If your student primarily writes simple sentences. Based on my son's age and his dislike for writing, I chose to use The Write Foundation Level One Program.

At first, I found the directions in the instruction manual a little confusing. However, once I read through the manual a second time and actually began to use the program, I found the format to be very appealing. Although the objectives of the curriculum are the same as most writing programs, the method used to obtain the goal is quite different. Here the emphasis is on writing detailed sentences with the use of descriptive verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The students also write a variety of poems to reinforce the use of descriptive vocabulary. The student is gently led through the writing process, slowly building up from simple to more interesting sentences and then writing paragraphs. In conjunction with the items included, they suggest the use of Mind Benders as an important part of the program. We have enjoyed using the Mind Benders and I can see how these exercises help with developing organizational skills.

I have been very pleased with the progress my son has made using The Write Foundation Level One program. He is using more descriptive language and he is not complaining as much about having to write.
The one aspect of the program that I am still struggling with is the notebook that is required as part of the first lesson. They ask that you set up a binder with 8 dividers, however, I haven't figured out their organization system yet. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this writing program. I plan to complete all of the 30 lessons in Level One. Next year we will continue with Level Two: Paragraph Writing and then Level Three: Essay Writing the following year.

Sentence to Paragraph Writing Curriculum is available in 3 different packages:

Curriculum Package 1: Sentence to Paragraph Complete Lessons 1-30 which cost $100
Curriculum Package 2: Sentence to Paragraph Lessons 1-15 is $65
Curriculum Package 3: Sentence to Paragraph Lessons 16-30 is also $65
The Sentence to Paragraph instruction manuals are also available separately for $75 for Lessons 1-30 or $40 each for Lessons 1-15 or 16-30

Click the banner below to see what others had to say about The Write Foundation.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Freebie Friday

It's Like Having a Money Tree in Your Backyard!

Wow! We are already two months into the school year and the holiday season is approaching rapidly. This weeks freebies will help you add a little holiday cheer to your homeschool.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday for family, friends and teaching lessons on gratitude! The link below will take you to a site full of ideas for Thanksgiving studies.

This next freebie is a short Bible study lesson on The Attitude of Gratitude.This is a 2-part study, so be sure to click both links.

Scholastic has a great site on the First Thanksgiving

One of my favorite sites for interactive science lessons is hosting " The 12 days of Freebies," starting December 1st. Simply sign up for their newsletters and be blessed by 12 free interactive unit studies. Click the link below and sign up today!

Have a blessed week.