Curriculum

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Biology 101 Review by Cindy Downes

Your visual and auditory learners are going to LOVE this. As a matter of fact, Biology 101: Biology According to the Days of Creation, developed by Wes Olson, is going to be enjoyed by the whole family!

The topics covered in this 4 disc set include Defining Life and Life Classification, Plants, Aquatic Creatures, Avian Creatures, Land Animals, Mankind and Genetics. It also includes a printable 114-page guidebook and a 12-page "Course Accreditation Program."

First, what I liked:

I loved the beautiful videos; the animated graphs, charts and illustrations; the background music was pleasant and added to the learning experience. The host (also Wes Olson) was an excellent speaker and kept my attention with clearly defined definitions, anecdotes, and interesting facts. During the plant

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Teaching A Foreign Language

Foreign language is a notoriously challenging subject for many Americans due to our relative isolation from the rest of the world. Even those who take a foreign language in high school or college rarely end up using it. In fact, only 26% of American’s speak a second language well enough to hold a conversation while more than 50% of Europeans are fluent in at least one additional language. So if you are one of the 74% of Americans that continue to struggle with a foreign language here are a few ideas that might make the process a little more enjoyable.

Experts agree that “immersion” substantially increase a student’s ability to retain foreign languages. Although trips to Mexico or Europe may be out of the question, there are other ways to create immersion opportunities for the whole

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Ready, Set, GO!!

Its the third week of August, and I can feel the winds changing! Yes indeed, my friends. The school year is approaching once again!

There are two additions to my treasure trove of curriculum that has me particularly giddy this year. The first is a math book named for a precocious little professor that goes by “Fred”. The Life of Fred is a series of math books covering everything from fractions through calculus and trigonometry (as well as biology and economics). However, what makes Fred so different from other Math curriculum is that it is specifically written with the “math-phobic” in mind. Fred’s creator (Stanley Schmidt, Ph.D) has had plenty of experiences with less than enthusiastic math students. After teaching on both a high school and college level for over 15 years, Dr.

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Modern Pioneers in Classical Education: Susan Wise Bauer

One of the first Classical Pioneers of the 21st Century is an English Professor from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Susan Wise Bauer first entered the homeschooling community as a student. Though homeschooling was mostly unheard-of at that time, her parents not only created a solid educational environment, they followed a neo-classical style of their own design (including teaching Susan Latin at the age of 10). She was a good student, devouring everything that they offered her. Books were the central feature of her education and weekly trips to the library were a special treat. By the time Susan was 17, she had completed her studies at home and was accepted into college as a Presidential Scholar and National Merit Finalist. While in College, Susan earned a B.S. in

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Continuing Education

Even if you already have a college degree, continuing your education is a great way to bolster your teaching skills, and add inspiration to your homeschooling curriculum. Although there are countless resources on the market, I’ll give you a short list of my favorites.

A Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer is a book that helps homeschooling parents walk through the process of building their own understanding of classic literature. It’s a wonderful book with plenty of guidance. However, because it included some “assignments” to help sharpen your skills, it is best read within a group setting. If you have a few friends that are interested in studying literature, I would highly recommend this book.

iTunes University offers free seminars on a number of different topics from a variety

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Teaching the Catechism Through Song

Music is a great way to support your homeschool curriculum. There are music CD’s for math, science, history, government and more. Unfortunately, most of them tend to be marketed purely for the educational content rather than the quality of music. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to listen to a high pitch squealing vocal on a keyboard driven education CD. The grating melodies immediately take me back to the days of watching Barney with my two year old. I do it because it really does help the kids remember important facts, but it’s hardly a pleasant experience.

Then I discovered The Westminster Shorter Catechism CD’s written and produced by Holly Dutton. To say that this educational CD set is a breath of fresh air would be an understatement.

This folksy accompaniment to

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How to Stock a Family Library

You can save a lot of time and money by stocking your family library with books that can be used throughout your homeschooling years. Here's what I look for when I go book shopping:

I look for biographies that make learning about famous people fun for kids. I especially like Childhood of Famous Americans, Opal Wheeler biographies, and Rookie Biographies . I know these are wholesome books.

I look for classic literature published with interesting illustrations. Because much of the classical literature is written in vocabulary that is often no longer used or difficult to understand, good illustrations help hold a child's attention. (I also keep a dictionary handy! Try reading Robinson Crusoe in it's original version and you'll see what I mean.)

I look for science and history books

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5 Things You Must Do Before Going to a Homeschool Conference

Buying curriculum in the early 80's, when I started homeschooling, was a challenge because curriculum was nearly impossible to obtain. Today, however, homeschool families have a new problem: There's too much curriculum available. Go to a homeschool conference and you’ll soon see what I mean!

Fortunately, you can eliminate some of the guesswork in purchasing curriculum by following a few guidelines outlined below:

1. Prepare Before you Go

If you go to a curriculum fair unprepared, you will spend way too much money and come home with a lot of stuff you don’t need. The solution: prepare a shopping list ahead of time.

Homeschool Planning forms

2. Determine What Your Child Needs

Do some assessment. What does each of your children need, this year? What grade level requirements

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