Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christian Keyboarding

In today's world technology plays a huge part. It is an absolute necessity to  know how to type and work a computer.  

Leanne Beitel looked at many keyboarding programs that are on the market, but did not find what she was looking for.  As she works in the private Christian school area she wanted to find  a keyboarding program with Biblical scripture references for typig practice.  Sshe decided to design her own.  She came up with Keyboarding for the Christian School.   

"It combines the fundamentals of touch-typing, MLA and APA report formatting, with the added bonus of using passages of Scripture for typing material." 

  Christian Keyboarding sent me "two products for review – Keyboarding for the Christian School (suitable for grades 6 and up) and Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version (for grades K-5). Both programs focus on mastery of the keyboard using the touch-typing method and drill practice using Scripture references.  Each lesson begins with an introduction of two new keys, followed by a review section for previously learned keys, and half the lessons include optional timed typing drills."

I think this is one of the better keyboarding products on the market.  It lets the students go at their own pace, while teaching them the fundamentals of keyboarding and computer skills. 

The upper level program also covers the following topics: 

  • MLA Reports
  • APA Reports
  • Cover Page
  • Works Cited
  • Bibliography
  • Personal Business Letters
  • Business Letters
  • Envelopes
  • Proofreader’s Marks
Although Christan Keyboarding was designed for a private Christian school setting it is very workable for homeschooling families as well.

See sample pages here.

Both versions of Keyboarding for the Christian School are available as e-books.

Price:  upper level is $15.95 elementary version is $12.95.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

ACT~Explore & Plan Assessments

ACT Advantage  "has provided standardized testing services to students, parents and colleges for 50 years. Although their 4 part marathon college entrance exam test is used by nearly all colleges and universities throughout the United States as a standardized representation of academic excellence of the students who take it, ACT, Inc., offers a number of other career planning and college preparatory services to assist people of all ages in meeting their professional and personal goals. Their offerings fall under their ACT Advantage program."

EXPLORE  is a great tool designed for 8th and 9th grade students to measure their academical ability in English, Reading, Mathematics, & Science.  Their results from these tests can aid students, parents, and teachers in helping the student choose a career path.  The results can also identify the student's strengths & weaknesses as well as see if he/she is on track for future college entrance exams.

As Sonny is in the 8th grade, this is a great tool for him and for me as his mom.  Of course he was not to thrilled to do this, but i think it is important for hm to learn to do these types of tests to get him used to the college entrance ones later.  However I take these types of tests with a grain of salt, as they really do not give an accurate picture of what a student knows.  But to have this available to "practice" for later exams is a great option.

Price $22.95

PLAN is especially designed for 10th grade students to measure their readiness for the ACT college entrance exam.  This would be given the beginning of the student's 10th grade year so that he/she would be able to work on whatever weaknesses he/she may have.

We did not use this program because our oldest is only in the 8th grade, but I know it will be a resource for us in a couple of years.

                                                                              Price $22.95

Other TOS crew members also reviewed these products.  To see what their opinions are click here.

*I was sent these products for free to use and review on my blog.  I am not compensated for my review nor am I required to post a positive review.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Math Tutor DVDs

We received two DVDs from Math Tutor DVD for the TOS crew to review. 

The first one, Young Minds Numbers and Counting,  is geared toward young children.  Julianna just turned 5 and she thought it was kind of boring, so I would guess that it would be for children in the 2-4 range. 

There is classical music playing throughout the DVD, which is really soothing.  The DVD teaches counting from 1 to 10 through pictures of animals and other objects.  
Price: $19.99

The second DVD,  The Basic Math Word Problem Tutor, we received is geared for 1st through 4th graders. 

The DVD is an 8 hour course.  It contains 2 DVDs which start from basic addition and subtraction word problems and gradually works up to ratios and fraction word problems.  Ben, our 9 year old, is advanced in math.  He is doing 4th grade math right now.  The beginning of the DVD is pretty simple for him, so he was a bit bored, but as the Math became harder Ben learned more. 
Price $26.99

Click here to see what other TOS reviewers had to say about these DVDs.

*I received both of these DVD for free from the publisher in order to review them on my blog.  I am not compensated and I am not required to post a positive review.

Worship Guitar Class

My almost 14 year old son, Sonny, has talked about playing the guitar off and on for a couple of years.  I never gave it much thought, but when we were asked to review the first DVD  in the series Worship Guitar Class
I decided that I would let him try his hand at guitar playing.

He is still working on the DVD lessons, but so far has been enjoying them.  I am glad that the lessons are easy to follow and that Sonny can do it all on his own.  I think when I have a bit more time (yeah I know when will that happen?!) I would like to try to learn as well.

We received a free copy of the adult/teen edition from the publisher for writing a review for TOS.  There is also a children's version available as well. 

"Students can easily learn their favorite praise and worship songs from Masterfully trained, worship guitarist, Jean Welles. She considers it her purpose to enjoy her God and to help others know how great He is. She received her Master's in Guitar Performance from USC."

"The DVD formats come with combined English and Spanish. Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class is a tool for Christian churches and worshipers in over 60 countries. It is sold online and in over 1500 stores. The lessons are also available in VHS format in English or Spanish. Each volume contains around a dozen new chords, half a dozen new strumming and finger-picking patterns with 7 familiar worship songs. With the set of all 4 DVD's you will learn 28 songs, over 50 chords and over 20 strumming & finger-picking patterns. The lessons can be used individually or with a group. Students learn many tips on playing the guitar with much less excess effort."

On the website there is also a free lesson so click here to view it.

$24.95   each DVD
$99.80 for the set of four DVD's. ($40 Bonus eBooks available free with set of 4.)

JW Worship Guitar Class for Kids $29.97.

Check out what other TOS crew members had to say in their reviews.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Maestro Classics

Maestro Classics have created 8 CD's that combine classical music with the retelling of classical stories we all love.  

Borne out of the Stories in Music series, the creative team of Stephen and Bonnie Simon debuted at the Kennedy Center. The Simons decided to expand their innovative music series so that children everywhere could enjoy listening.

 This entertaining and educational series has earned several prestigious educational awards,

Other stories and music CDs currently available are:

                                    Peter and the Wolf
                                    The Story of Swan Lake
                                    The Sorcerer's Apprentice
                                    Casey at the Bat
                                    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
                                    Juanita the Spanish Lobster
                                    Juanita la longosta espanola 

I was sent a free copy of
Tortise and the Hare to review for TOS.   

The CD contains:
1.  The story with the music
2.  About the story
3.  Pretzel Vendor of Paris Song
4.  About the Music
5.  Now that we know a bit more (this is where they replay the story and we listen for various things we have learned about on the other tracks.
6.  Pepare to Perform
7.  Pretzel Vendor of Paris sing a long

I was curious to see how my children would think of listening to this.  They loved it!  I played it in the car when we were running errands.  They all wanted to listen to it again right after we listened to it the first time.  My older two picked up on the various instruments and tried to listen and "find" various instruments.  We really enjoyed it.  My only concern about this particular story is that the hare stops to eat and and talks about drinking wine.  I find that it should not have been put in the story.  I do not think having animals (or anyone) drinking in a story specifically designed and marketed to children to include drinking alcohol.

To see what oher homeschooling families had to say about Maestro Classics see here.
Price:  $16.98 for each CD
There are additionally 3 gift sets including books also available for $24.99.

To purchase visit Maestro Classics website.