Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bible Study for All Ages {Review}

Bible Study Guide for All Ages is a fun interactive homeschool Bible curriculum for teaching your children about the Word of God and how to apply it in their lives.  The Homeschool Review Crew gave us an option to review this program so Rachel has been working through the Intermediate (3rd and 4th grade) curriculum.  They also offer a Beginner level for ages 3 - Kindergarten, Primary for 1st and 2nd grade, and Advanced for 5th and 6th grade.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

The curriculum is a four unit program containing 416 lessons total.  It is intended to be completed over the course of four years.  Each unit can be completed in one school year if your student works on lessons 3 times per week.  Each unit is divided into 4 quarters and there is a separate book for each quarter.  For the purpose of this review, we received Unit 1, Quarter 1 Intermediate Level Student Pages, the accompanying Teacher Key, and the Small Bible Book Summary Cards.  I will cover how to use those as we go along.

Rachel begins each lesson with reading the scripture listed for that lesson.  Then she works through the review part called "Remember It?" and "Memory Workout" which challenges students to recall what they have learned in previous lessons and work on drills to help learn important facts like the books of the Bible and the twelve sons of Jacob.

There is a fun "Guess What" section that gives interesting tidbits and facts that relate to the lesson.  Once she has read that she begins working on the "Timeline" or "Map" activity.  There are directions that tell her what to do.  Here she is drawing a skinny cow on the timeline where Pharaoh had his dream.  She chose to make it a pink cow because she likes strawberry milk!  I like how there is structure in this curriculum yet it allows the students to be creative and make it more personalized for them.

The Map section has the student circle towns, mark arrows for travel, etc.  This is important for students to be able to "see" the geography of the Bible and how towns and landforms are located in relation to each other.

The "Apply It!" section is important because this is where the student is applying the lessons they learned in the Bible study to their own lives.  They are given scenarios and asked to finish the story or simply asked direct questions about what they should do or what the Bible says about a particular situation.  This is a great part of the curriculum.  The students aren't just reading the Bible but learning to use the lessons to spread the love of God to the world.

The back of each Student Page has the "Discover the Bible" section.  This page has a comic strip style and the student follows the directions to mark out words that are incorrect, match up pictures in the story, and fill in the blanks.  Rachel likes to add a little color to her pages too.

The Teacher Key has a page that corresponds to each of the Student Pages.  It is really needed if you use the Wall Maps and Timeline set because it directs you on which labels need to be placed on each.  

We are not using the Wall Maps and Timeline set but I still find the Teacher Key to be helpful.  It provides me with a quick reference to the answers that Rachel should be marking in her Student Pages and it also helps me see how she should be completing her individual timeline and maps.

We also received the Small Bible Book Summary Cards.  These are a great resource for any child learning about the Bible, even if they aren't using this full curriculum.  Each lesson refers the child to read or re-read a summary card.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
There is one card for each book of the Bible.  The front of the card summarizes the book with colorful pictures which serve as a great reminder of what the story is about.

The back of each card has a written summary of the book.  There are also a list of questions about the book that the teacher can use to quiz their child.  The answers to the questions are in small print after the question.

Wall Maps and Timeline Set for $24.95.  The timeline is 76" x 25".  There are three large maps included in the set.  One of the maps measures 36" x 25" and the other two maps are 19" x 25".  We already have a giant timeline on our school room wall so I didn't opt to receive these but they look like great products to help clarify the time line and geography of the Bible.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Children's Songs 2-CD set is available for $19.95.  The lessons direct you when to play certain songs from the CD that correspond with what the student is learning.  It is a fun addition to the curriculum but not required.

You can purchase all of the pieces separately but I would recommend buying the Intermediate Starter Pack.  There are two versions of the Starter Pack to choose from.  The basic includes all four units of the Intermediate Student Pages, the Large Bible Book Summary Cards and the Children's Songs CD for $67.80.  The premium version includes all of these item but also the Teacher Keys, Wall Maps and Timeline set and the Label book for book that contains the labels for the maps and timeline.  The premium set sells for $135.61.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Learning Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric with Silverdale Press {Review}

Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric

I have found an amazing homeschool writing curriculum and I wasn't even looking for one.  We already have a great composition program that we have been using in our homeschool but I'm always interested in learning about other products out there (aka "curriculum junkie").  The Homeschool Review Crew was given an opportunity to review Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers by Silverdale Press LLC and I said, "Yes, please!"

The program is a 36-week high school language arts program.  Students are taught persuasive writing while reading and responding to amazing written works by famous historical figures like Augustine, Patrick Henry, Jane Austen, and John F. Kennedy, just to name a few.  As stated on the first page of the Lesson Book, "Our goal is to turn students into great writers.  We believe that students become great writers by practicing the three habits of writing.  Writers write. Writers read. Writers think.  These three habits form the foundation of our curriculum."

Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric is intended to be worked on for four days a week.  Each day's lesson is already planned out and the plans are so easy to follow.  The program is composed of four downloadable books - the Lesson Book, Reader, Workbook, and an Answer Key.

The Lesson Book

This book contains all of the instruction for the course.  Parents do not have to teach the material.  The student can complete this part of the work independently.  Each lesson teaches a new concept and begins with a brief introduction and overview as well as a schedule of what will be covered in the week.  

Next the student reads the complete lesson and then reads "Profiles in Rhetoric" which introduces the student to a famous writer by giving them some history of the individual and why they wrote the way they did.

These lessons are beyond just a basic composition course.  They teach the art of communication by making your ideas known and understood by others.  Just take a look at the lesson included:

  1. Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric
  2. The Habits of Great Writers
  3. Introduction to Invention
  4. The Subject
  5. Sources
  6. Taking Notes
  7. Interlude for Research and Taking Notes
  8. Interlude for Research and Taking Notes (continued)
  9. Stasis Theory
  10. The Claim
  11. Inartistic Appeals
  12. Logical Appeals and Deductive Reasoning
  13. Logical Appeals and Inductive Reasoning
  14. Emotional Appeals, Part 1
  15. Emotional Appeals, part 2
  16. Ethical Appeals
  17. Introduction to Arrangement
  18. The Introduction
  19. Statement of Facts
  20. Confirmation
  21. Refutation
  22. The Conclusion
  23. Interlude for Writing
  24. Interlude for Writing (continued)
  25. Introduction to Style
  26. Correctness in Words and Sentences
  27. Correctness in Punctuation
  28. Clarity in Characters and Actions
  29. Clarity and Zapping Clutter
  30. Ornamentation
  31. Propriety
  32. Your Audience Is You
  33. What Real Writer Do
  34. Moving Past Rejection
  35. Pitching Your Work
  36. Following Up and Fostering Habits for Life


The Reader consists of an actual writing or excerpt of a writing from the author reviewed in the Profiles of Rhetoric in the Lesson Book.  There is one reading for each lesson.  This is just good reading material for everyone.  Some of them include "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" speech by Winston Churchill (Lesson 3), "The Federalist Papers" by Alexander Hamilton, "Fishes of the Middle West" by Rachel Carson, as well as speeches by Martin Luther King Jr and Abraham Lincoln.


The Workbook contains pages that correspond with each lesson.  The daily workbook pages to be competed are only about a page to a page and a half.  They serve as a review of the lesson material learned as well as a probe to get the student thinking about how to apply the lesson in their own writing.  On the fourth day of each week, the workbook page includes a writing prompt related to the Reader selection for that lesson and an assignment to complete a 500 word essay based on this prompt.  Again, "writers write" so I love that there is a weekly assignment to exercise those newly learned writing skills.

Answer Key

This can be used by the parent in grading the workbook pages or the student can use it to check their own work.

While the Lesson Book does teach all of the instruction and students can use the answer key to grade their workbook pages, parents are needed to give feedback on the 500 word essay each week.  Even if the parents are not great writers, they can use the rubric in the Answer Key to help them with feedback.  However, I find it much more helpful to have already read the material myself so that I can be more knowledgeable when giving feedback to my son.

Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric is an impressive program because of the focus is on teaching the skill of persuasion in writing.  This is a skill that will help students for the rest of their lives regardless of the career path they may take.  The program is easy to use and exposes students to some great literature in the process.

From the Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric website you can download a sample of the first lesson or purchase the program for download for $119.99.

The only thing I didn't really like is that the materials are all digital.  While some people may just read most of the program online, I prefer to use printed material so my children can read, highlight, make notes, etc. and there are a lot of pages to print.  The Lesson Book is 235 pages, the Workbook is 202 pages, the Reader is 111 pages, and the Answer Key is 65 pages.  It might not seem like a big deal to print all of that but it never fails that when I have a lot of printing to do my printer always seems to run out of ink or starts having some weird problem. This time it left black streaks on all of the pages and I ended up having to reprint a lot of pages.  While my printer was acting up, I did think that it would be nice to have the option to just pay a little more money to be able to buy the material already printed.  However, I do appreciate the online option for those that like to read online and I like that there isn't a lot of colored pictures in the material so that helps to save for printing costs.  

Silverdale Press
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Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}

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