Friday, April 12, 2019

Heroes of History from YWAM Publishing: A TOS Crew Review

Heroes of History from YWAM Publishing

Heroes of History by YWAM Publishing is HANDS DOWN - my ALL TIME FAVORITE homeschooling resource! not let your children read these books if you want them to lead a "normal" life. These best-selling biographies will open up a world of excitement, challenges, and will inspire your children to lead lives filled with extraordinary adventures for God and his Glory. Heroes of History- John Adams and the companion Study Guide.

At our first homeschool conference...way, way back, someone gave us a free copy of Gladys Aylward: Life of Adventure. We took it home and we were hooked! The very next year, I went straight to YWAM Publishing and purchased their entire set of both Christian Heroes: Then & Now and Heroes of History My dear husband is still recovering from the shock that I bought "one of everything on the table." It is one of my best purchases!

These stories have been LIFE CHANGING.  All 8 of my children have grown up reading and listening to amazing stories of how God used ordinary people to change the world!  They always say, "Someday, I want a YWAM book about me!".  Highest praise.

Heroes of History- John Adamsrecommended for ages 10 and up, follows the life of one of our most influential founding fathers. These stories do a wonderful job of giving us a glimpse into the life and times of our heroes. This story takes place during the birth of our nation, 1735-1826. From growing up as a farmer, to the 2nd President of the United States, John Adams' story will inspire and encourage you to bravely speak what you believe. In today's world, our children need role models to look up to - this series will not disappoint!


The Study Guide is a downloadable PDF that complements the book.   The Study Guide offers a wide variety of activities you can use to create a full unit study with each book.  It incorporates -  History • Geography • Essay writing • Creative writing • Reading comprehension • Public speaking • Drama • Art   

Included are  fact sheets and printable outline maps.  The Study Guide is very well put together and offers a wide variety of themes you can use with the book.

I truly cannot say enough about the entire series!  They are my favorite resource!  Be sure to check out other reviews in both the Christian Heroes: Then & Now and Heroes of History series!

Study Guides - Christian Heroes Then & Now & Heroes of History {YWAM Publishing Reviews}
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Instagram: @ywampublishing

Hashtags: #hsreviews #ywampublishing, #christianheroes, #heroesofhistory, #herobiographies, #christianheroesthenandnow, #historicalbiographies, #missionarybiographies, #trueheroes

Study Guides - Christian Heroes Then & Now & Heroes of History {YWAM Publishing Reviews}

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Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork from Everyday Education: A TOS Crew Review

Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork from Everyday Education

Do you have a high schooler? Then, you need Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork written by Janice Campbell from Everyday Education.

This essential tool is the fourth edition.  It arrives as 138 page PDF download.   It contains EVERYTHING you need to get your high school student ready for college.  

Janice Campbell has been a long-time favorite.  We have loved here Excellence in Literature courses.  In this book, she draws from her vast homeschooling experience (with 4 sons!) and gives a clear, easy to understand guide to all the important documents that our high school students need. 

I wish I would have had this guide for my first students, it is filled with practical information and organized in 6 easy to read chapters.  Let me show you each section.

Part 1
  • Meet the Transcript
  • What is a transcript?
  • Who needs a transcript?
  • Who will see the transcript?
  • What are the parts of the transcript?
  • Overview of the Transcript Process
  • Where to Start in This Book
This may be the most valuable section.  I know creating a transcript can seem like a daunting process, but Janice walks you through it step by step.  In this section you learn all about the process and why it is so important.  She gives helpful tips based on your time frame?  Have you just started with a middle schooler? Or, do you need a transcript tomorrow?  Either way, she has tips to help you get it done.

Part 2
  • Plan with the End in Mind
  • What to Study in High School
  • Sample High School Requirements
  • Skills and Habits to Cultivate in High School
  • Scheduling Courses
  • Sample Four-Year Schedule for College-Bound Students
  • Standardized Tests to Consider
  • Seven Strategies for a Successful First Year at College
  • College Alternatives
  • Six Things Your Teen Can Do While Homeschooling High School
  • High School Q&A
  • Teaching Teens
If you have any middle or high schoolers, or just want to be prepared, this is the section to spend time in!  I love all her tips! My senior this year enjoyed the strategies for college.  It is filled with great, tested advice on everything from habits to activities your high schooler can be doing.

Part 3
  • Keep Simple Records
  • High School Binder
  • Student Work Samples to Keep
  • How to Use Class Profile Sheets
  • How to Use Subject Worksheets
  • Naming Classes
  • Special-Needs Records and Transcripts with Judith Munday
  • Special Needs Resource Recommendations from Kathy Kuhl
This is the "nuts and bolts" section. If you have special needs - the advice here is crucial.  She has a designed a simple, and effective way to keep track of all your student's course work.  I can tell you from personal experience - start early!

Part 4
  • Grades, Credit, and the GPA
  • Grading Realistically and Ethically
  • Use Simple Credibility Clinchers
  • How To Grade Written Work
  • Writing Evaluation Rubric
  • Grading for Unschoolers and the Chronically Relaxed
  • Non-Grading Philosophy
  • Retrospective Grading
  • Define a Grading Scale
  • Assign Quality Points
  • How to Grant Credit
  • Granting Credit for Honors Classes
  • Granting Credit for AP, Dual Credit, or College-Equivalent Classes
  • Calculate a Grade Point Average
Do you have questions about grades, GPA and credits?  Sound like a new language?  This section helps you make sense out of all them!

Part 5
  • Create the Transcript
  • How to Issue an Official Transcript
  • Transcript Formats and Examples
  • Horizontal Transcript Format
  • Vertical Transcript Formats
  • Sample: Vertical Transcript Organized by Subject
  • Sample: Vertical Transcript Organized by Semester
  • Sample: Vertical Format with Lines
  • Check-Off Transcript Format
  • Sample: Check-Off Transcript
  • High School Diploma Format
  • How to Create a High School Diploma
  • Text for Diploma
Now, on to how to actually create these documents!  Easy to follow instructions help you create transcripts and diplomas that can be customized to your student.

Part 6
  • References, Resources, and Reproducibles
  • Glossary
  • Resources for Planning and Learning
  • Reproducible Forms
All the forms, ready to use.  Also, very helpful links for additional sources.

My new favorite quote from this book.  I think this is the perfect resource for the busy homeschool parent!

Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork {Everyday Education Reviews} Find  Everyday Education on Social Media:


Hashtags: #hsreviews #highschooltranscripts #homeschoolhighschool #homeschooltranscripts

Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork {Everyday Education Reviews}

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Fix It! Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW): A TOS Crew Review

Grammar that makes your student smile?  Really!  We have been loving Fix It! Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).  This easy-to-use program will have your student understanding and mastering the art of grammar in just 15 minutes a day. Check out what Mr. Pudewa has to say about this program:

My tester started with the first of 6 books in this series.  Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1],  they offer a handy placement test to help you find the correct level for your student.  My tester is in 4th grade, so we started at the beginning.  Book 1 is designed to help students learn to recognize and identify grammar in context.

The program contains a 45 page, spiral bound Teacher's Manual, with several options for the required Student Book.  I love the options!  We were blessed with a pre-printed, spiral bound Student Book, but the Teacher's Manual offers you access to the 132 page Student Book in a downloadable PDF version that you can print at home (a great options for big families!)  In addition, the Teacher's Manual offers 2 e-audios as well - Mastery Learning and But, but, but....What about Grammar.  I HIGHLY recommend these audios!

This program is designed to be completed by your student, in just 15 minutes a day, 4 days per week.  My tester really loved this feature.  It was "almost too easy" to quote her :-)  With a total of 33 weeks, it makes a full year grammar program per book.  The 6 volumes will give you 6 years of grammar instruction!

Let me explain what a week's lesson looks like.  On the first day, the student has a page of information  - the "Learn It" portion. Terms and grammar are explained in clear, easy to understand language. Each week introduces new concepts and reviews those already learned. The back of the Student book contains pre-printed grammar cards that your student can cut out and use to review grammar concepts throughout the year.

The "Fix It!" portion happens on days 2-4 with sentences containing errors in the grammar and mechanics.  The student's task is to locate them, mark them, and fix them.  For my tester's level, this was one sentence a day. Each sentence also contains a vocabulary word that the student writes out the meaning for. This is where my tester breathed a sigh of relief...just one sentence, not an entire intimidating page of grammar practice!

On the final day of the lesson, after discussing the corrections with you, your student then copies out the 4 sentences into a complete and corrected paragraph.

The Teacher Manual contains everything you need.  A Student Book view is included, with all the corrections identified.  Sidebars offer extra explanations for you and notes with helpful tips. An extremely helpful Grammar Glossary is included as well.  In this section, you find explanations for editing marks, grammar rules, as well as, stylistic techniques.  If you are an IEW fan, you will love that Fix it! Grammar speaks the same language!  One of my favorite parts, it integrates and reinforces our favorite writing program.

I admire that this program is both easy to use and effective!  Our goal in teaching good grammar skills is that they will use them.  After having tried numerous grammar programs, I can tell you that Fix It! Grammar actually works.  By approaching the skills in an integrated fashion, my students remember what they are learning.  It not only hones those important grammar skills but also give them valuable practice with another essential skill, proofreading.

Her expression says it all... Grammar that makes her smile!

Hashtags:  #hsreviews #grammar #writing

Fix It! Grammar {Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Reviews}

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Love TX in the Spring!

I love Texas in the spring... Bluebonnets are everywhere!

They humored me...and celebrated being Texan with an obligatory picture in the ditch with bluebonnets!