Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership from NotebookingPages.com : A TOS Crew Review

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews
Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership from NotebookingPages.com 
I am super excited!! The Bentz Test Laboratory has been exploring a new treasure...the Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership from NotebookingPages.com!

The Lifetime Membership offers you access to thousands of well designed notebooking pages that you can download, print and use immediately.  Not only do you get access to every resource that is currently there, you get them for life PLUS all the future resources too.  This may be the only homeschooling resource you need to purchase, ever again! Here's the benefits to the Lifetime Membership:
  • Current notebooking pages include: 
    • Art Study
    • Copywork
    • Character Study 
    • Famous Men & Women 
    • Geography (state/country studies, continental maps) 
    • History of the Ancient World, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, and Modern Times
    •  Music Study 
    • Nature Study
    • Science
    • Timelines 
    • And more!
  • Search Bar & Table of Contents - makes finding pages so easy 
  • Tutorials, Tips, Videos - access to everything you need to get started and succeed with this apporach.
  • Unlimited LIFETIME access - no need to hurry to download or print, it's always there when you need it    
If you are new to notebooking, let me tell you how it works.  Instead of boring textbooks and monotonous worksheets - your child creates a memorable record of what they are learning and collects these pages into their very own, personalized learning notebook. Benefits of notebooking include:
  • Cutting out the busywork 
  • Read books that they have an interest in
  • Orally Narrate what they are learning
  • Create a notebook page that shows what they learned

Our notebooks have become treasured keepsakes...you never get that result from a workbook! Take a moment and watch the author -Debra L. Reed's notebooking experience here.  

 Part of the Lifetime Membership includes a very helpful 3 part email series on how to get started with notebooking, It's so easy to implement this into any subject you want to study.

The first thing I did was to create my own "Master Notebooking Notebook".  I printed out all the PDF's of the handy "Table of Contents" and "Catalogs" and collected them in a binder (they even have cover pages and spines for your binders!) to show the pages available in each topic.  This way, I have the ability to locate the perfect notebooking page to complement whatever topic we are studying.

I love the catalog - each page has a small preview page, and all of these are displayed on pages you can print and keep in your master binder.  It makes it very easy to find what you are looking for!

I also really like that they have designed their notebooking pages with open-ended options for your use.  These aren't just fill-in-the-blank worksheets, they are simple pages that encourage your child to write, draw, and illustrate what they are learning about a topic in whatever method they prefer.  They are learning important skills of reasearching, organizing, summarizing and writing as they complete each page. 

The site offers an entire section of 3D pages and Mini books that you can use to create your own lapbooks.  The graphics on these pages are not flashy or distracting -  they are intentional about creating pages that your student get to provide the content for. Most pages are available in a variety of line formats for you to choose from, primary lines or regular lines. 

With 8 students at Bentz Test Laboratory - we easily found topics that EVERYONE wanted to study.  Catching their interest in learning is one of our primary goals, and notebooking is the perfect method to achieve this.  

Here's a peek at some of the pages they jumped right into, all I asked was..."What are you interested in learning more about?"  Summer is a great time to let them pick a topic or two and without any "curriculum" they think it's just for fun...shhh, don't tell them they're learning!

Science topics from Dinosaurs to Human Anatomy (and everything in between).  Geography topics covering states, countries, outline maps and more!  

Are you planning any summer road trips?  National Parks, Monuments and Memorials make a great way to record what they are learning along the way.

Tons of topics for younger students - my testers were delighted with the animal pages and plan to study the entire zoo!

Dozens of topics for older students too.  Greek and Latin Roots,  Missionary Heroes, and Art/Music Study.  The possibilities are truly endless.  These pages make an excellent way to build a high school portfolio that shows off what their interests are, and what they have learned.

Here's on of my favorite sections!  I am busy planning our upcoming year for history.  Notebooking is the perfect way to record what they are learning -  Timelines, record pages, and specific event pages for ALL time periods are part of the Lifetime Membership.  This is a treasure chest!  Check out the Book of Centuries how to video here. Here's some of the templates I found for our history study: 
  • Spines for your notebook
  • Cover Pages, Title Pages
  • Dividers for special topics like Daily Living, Government/Politics, Religion/Philosophy, Science/Technology, & more!
  • Books Read & Resources Used Templates
  • Vocabulary Page
  • Timeline Pages (in multiple formats)
  • 2 Sets of Different Themed Bordered Notebooking Templates *one set for use with our 3D mini-book system and *one set with a variety of frames and mini-timelines (all-in-one style)

I am only showing you the tip of the iceberg with what you get with the Lifetime Membership!  You will want to check this one out for yourself.  They offer a FREE Sampler with over 600 pages.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews

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VeritasBible.com from Veritas Press: A TOS Crew Review

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review

The Bentz Test Laboratory has been loving our one-year family subscription to  VeritasBible.com from Veritas Press! This online, subscription allows all of the children in your family to access the full VeritasBible.com site for one year.  This program contains 3 different Veritas Bible Courses:
    Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
  • Genesis through Joshua - 32 events from Creation to Joshua.  Students follow Abigail and Asher (brother & sister) along with animated characters Teb & Tizzy (a cat and gnat).

  • Judges through Kings - 32 events from the early years of the people of Israel to the exile to Babylon. Students follow  Levi & his family with his companions  - Vasko, the frog and Pallu, the badger.

  • The Gospels - 32 events from Jesus' birth to crucifixion guided by Benjamin & Jude (a carpenter & apprentice) along with Spyro & Uz (a dove and termite).

  • Chronicles to Malachi and Job and Acts to Revelation are coming soon!

Each course contains 128 lessons that use video, games and interactions to teach the Bible events. Each course features a variety of music, memory tools, activities, projects, worksheets, tests, and explorations in art, music and geography, Lessons are usually 20-40 minutes long.

With 32 lessons in each course, you can complete 4 lessons per week for a full year.  With multiple courses available, it can be used multiple years, with multiple children.  This is mom-friendly too - there is virtually no prep needed!

This program is VERY easy to use!  A parent simply set's up each student - all logins occur from the same screen (a nice feature for mega mommies...no individual passwords to keep track of) Each student has their own avatar, and the program automatically keeps track of progress and starts where they left off.   Each student can choose the course they want to work on.  My students were working in Genesis through Joshua and The Gospels.

It's so easy to use, even my youngest could work completely independently.  They beg to do this program, and everyone can work at their own pace.  Win - Win! Learning the Bible has never been so much fun!  

Each lesson contains well-done videos with live characters and animation.  The graphics are very professional.  Following the videos, there are games and interactive components to reinforce learning the Bible story.  They are a variety of activities - timelines, matching, and games.  This was my tester's favorite part.  Their progress is tracked by "stars" on their flag.  They must earn at least one star to pass on to the next section.  They can go back and redo any lessons they want to.

As a home school mom, one of my top priorities is to educate my children in the WORD. VeritasBible.com is one of the best programs I have found that makes learning the Bible so much FUN too.  All the activities ensure that the students are learning and remembering the facts.  My testers have mastered Biblical chronology and memorized amazing amounts already.  

This is a new "must have" at Bentz Academy.  You will want to get this one - try it for free to see for yourself.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review.

Other members of the Crew reviewed the Self-Paced Bible courses.  Be sure to see what they had to say.  

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Hashtags: #hsreviews #classicaleducation #onlinebible #homeschoolbible

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

LearnBop for Families from LearnBop: A TOS CREW Review

LearnBop for Families Review
LearnBop for Families Review

Bentz Academy has learned that summer is NO time for a math vacation!  We have been using 
LearnBop for Families from LearnBop.  We have access to this online subscription math resourse's Family Plan with access for up to four students in grades 3-12.

LearnBop is adapative, meaning it customizes to each student's needs.  Each student begins with a warm-up session to assess a starting point.  My four testers were in 3rd-4th-5th-7th grade. The "Roadmap" is a guide to the units included in a particular level.  You can choose from either "grade level" or "subject based" roadmaps. We used the grade level.  My 3rd grader had 13 units, 4th grader 14 units, 5th grader 11 units and 7th grader 10 units.

After being placed in the appropriate level, the student can begin working on a concept.  Concepts are introduced in short videos for the student to watch.  After the videos, the student completes at least 5 "bops" (or assignments) for 90% mastery.

Mastery must be achieved at 90% or above before continuing on to the next concept. If an answer is incorrect, the program walks them through a step-by-step process to get to the correct answer.  There is no moving forward to the next bop without getting a correct answer.  (I like this feature, but my testers were highly frustrated by it...)

Each student gets to pick their own avatar during setup, and all the logins can occur from the main screen without having to remember passwords.

This is a particularly nice feature if you are using this with multiple children!  The program is very easy to learn, and I can get feedback on their progress.  You can also adjust their roadmap if you want to focus in on a particular topic.

Each time they log in, they can see their progress and achievements as well.  This was great motivation for my students to stick with a difficult concept.  They loved the motivational quotes that show up during their bops.  All this feedback makes it nice for mom as well, I can see what they are working on, and what they need more help with.  

We found LearnBop very easy to navigate, and very comprehensive.  However, all of my testers were frustrated by the program content.  They enjoyed the videos, but felt the "bops" were confusing and very difficult.  When they missed answers, the step-by-step approach left them "guessing" to try to get the correct answer and move past the question.  The questions were difficult to understand,  I struggled too.

Overall, this is a high quality math resource, either for review and practice, or to teach new concepts. Don't take a summer off of math - Check out this intro video and give it a try to see for yourself!

Find LearnBop  on Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LearnBop
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LearnBop @LearnBop

LearnBop for Families Review

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Drama Boys!

My drama boys had a great time with their theater group at this year's TNT Conference (Texas Nonprofit Theaters).

 They, along with 16 other theater groups performed in Baytown, TX.  They also got to attend workshops and socials.

They performed "Grimm Brothers...out of Order".  The Brothers Bentz were the Brothers Grimm - 2 complete opposites...  Perfect roles for them!

We even squeezed in a little homeschool-like field tripping to San Jacinto Monument and the Texas Battleship and of course, fun at the pool!

Great kids, so glad I got to be a chaperone :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the most amazing hubby of all time!

We love discovering new Texas BBQ with you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Great Expectations E-Guide from Progeny Press: A TOS Crew Reviewt

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on all those classics we "meant" to read...but, didn't quite fit in during our busy school schedule.  We are reading Charles Dickens this summer and using the Great Expectations E-Guide from Progeny Press as our guide.  This is one is recommended for grades 9-12.  

This E-Guide is a 72 page, downloadable PDF file.  It's "interactive" label is because your student can type in their answers directly to the PDF.  The guide is designed to take about 8-10 weeks to complete (depending on your student) and by completing 4 guides a year, they can earn a full high school credit.

The first thing I like to do, is to print out my copy and take and get it spiral bound.  Progeny Press offers print options, but I do prefer the E-Guide for my students because of the interactive feature.  (I guess I'm still "old school" wanting paper in my hands...)  However, they like the ability to type it in, instead of writing.

The E-Guide begins with an overview, a brief synopsis of the book, information about the author, and helpful background information for the story.  

A suggested schedule includes completely reading the novel the first week, while working on pre-reading activities.  Then, completing one pages a day in the E-Guide until finished.  We choose to read each section - then, complete the E-Guide pages for that section before reading the next section.  This works great for us, especially when tackling a longer book like Great Expectations.

Ideas for Pre-Reading Activities and help "set the stage" for your student.  For example, researching blacksmithing, Newgate Prison and the British colonial period adds more depth of understanding as my testers read this book.
The E-Guide breaks down a variety of activities into manageable sections.  Each section coves: 
  • vocabulary 
  • general comprehension questions 
  • discussion and critical thinking questions 
  • literary terms and analysis 
  • "digging deeper"  -  Biblical worldview and applications (my favorite part!)   Did the characters act in accordance to God's will, or not? Helping them to draw conclusions and applications that they can use in real life.
  • optional activities - writing, creating, and research ideas you can add.

My testers love that the E-Guide uses a variety of vocabulary exercises - sometimes matching, sometimes it's fill-in-the-blank, sometimes synonyms or antonyms.  This keeps it from getting boring.

The questions are designed to encourage your high school student to think and apply. Fifteen Final Essay and Project ideas are included to encourage your student to research and write more in depth about a topic from the book.

If you want to "test" them to make sure they are learning, the Overview section makes a great high school grading or review tool.  It also covers the literary devices and characters found in this book.

Also included is an Additional Resources section if you want to encourage more reading on similar themes.

Progeny Press guides are very easy to use, everything you need (just add the book) is laid out for you. The Answer Keys are included as well (a great bonus for busy moms that may not have had the time to read along with her high schoolers...)

I am wholly impressed with the quality of these guides. We have used many of them, and find the same high standard apply from study to study.  

Be sure to check out the other titles being reviewed by the Review Crew!  Progeny Press offers dozens of guides for all grade levels.

Lower Elementary (K-3):
Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide
The Drinking Gourd E-Guide

Upper Elementary (gr. 4-6):
Mr. Popper’s Penguins E-Guide
The Sword in the Tree E-Guide

Middle School (gr. 6-8):
Give Me Liberty E-Guide
Indian in the Cupboard E-Guide

High School (gr 9-12):
The Scarlet Pimpernel E-Guide
Great Expectations E-Guide

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/progenypress
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/progenypress  @progenypress
Hashtags: #hsreviews #classicliterature #criticalanalysis #literaturestudies
Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

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