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100 Days Of Summer Reading

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Items 1 - 30 of 362
  • Item #: 001673
    ISBN: 9781615388899
    Retail: $7.95
    Rainbow Price: $6.95

  • Item #: 001672
    ISBN: 9781615388882
    Retail: $7.95
    Rainbow Price: $6.95

  • Item #: 001647
    ISBN: 9781615388837
    Retail: $7.95
    Rainbow Price: $6.95

  • Item #: 043022
    ISBN: 9780689848919
    Retail: $8.99
    Rainbow Price: $6.75

    The year is 1793, the season summer, and a time that no one would ever forget. Yellow fever has captured a city and as it sweeps through the streets of Philadelphia it grabs victim by victim. This is the story of Mattie, a simple girl, who resides in a small apartment with her mother and grandfather. Mattie finds herself with big plans and dreams the days away as she works in the family coffee shop. When the news of the outbreak is released and her mother takes ill, Mattie and her grandfather are urged to leave the city. Will Mattie see her mother again? Will she and her grandfather escape the disease? Or will they soon discover it has spread farther than they can run? Laurie Halse Anderson, the author, does a remarkable job that earned this book many awards, including an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. It also appeared on the New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing and the New York Public Library's Best Books for the Teen Age. The book also includes a short section in the back revealing true facts about the fever that once took over Philadelphia. 251 pages. ~ Tasha

  • Item #: 002784
    ISBN: 9781888827392
    Retail: $64.95
    Rainbow Price: $42.75

    Homeschool teachers will go to great lengths to help their students overcome difficulties. Take Beverly Adams-Gordon, for example. An engineer and Montessori teacher, she left her teaching job to homeschool in an effort to solve her youngest daughter's severe spelling problems. Finding no suitable material, she thoroughly researched the subject and developed her own spelling curriculum.

    So what is different?

    • * It's all in one book. One purchase for all years for all kids.
    • * A chapter on research details the most effective methods of spelling instruction.
    • * Complete instructions for introducing, implementing and evaluating the program. Directions are given for adapting to different learning styles and ages.
    • * The program takes only 15 minutes/day.
    • * Extensive Word Lists are based on research done after 1979 of most frequently used and misspelled words. Word lists used in most other programs are based on lists created in 1915 or 1947. Two lists are provided, with 5,000 and 12,000 words, respectively.
    • * General and specific placement tests start each student right where he needs to be.
    • * Program is based on phonics and spelling rules, not phonics alone.
    • * Review is built into the program which uses a "spiral" approach (repeated and spaced review) similar to the approach Saxon takes in it's problem sets.
    • * Directions for over 100 games and activities are included which concentrate on specific skills and make spelling more interesting. Most are individual or partner games, but some can be played by up to 6 players.

    Now available in its 4th edition. Spelling Power retains all of its award-winning effective procedures, but it is more user-friendly with larger type and more graphics. Easier to read and less intimidating, there is also improved organization of resources. The 4th edition Spelling Power package includes access to the Teacher's Online Resources on the publisher's website and an updated Quick Start DVD seminar. The Quick Start DVD provides a personal step-by-step introduction to using the Spelling Power program featuring author Beverly Adams-Gordon who explains each step as "real" homeschool moms and students demonstrate. The Teacher's Online Resources includes printable forms, searchable word lists, charts, printable Activity Task Cards, bonus activities, and the Digital Spelling Tutor which allows you to create spelling lists for multiple children, offers learning, drill and testing activities, tracks several children's progress, allows you to create and print progress reports, and can be used with any spelling word list.

    Spelling Power provides the most thorough coverage of spelling that we have seen. This one is a "classic."

  • Item #: 001739
    ISBN: 9781615389100
    Retail: $16.95
    Rainbow Price: $14.60

    The Teacher Guides provide everything the teacher needs for her part in the teacher-student interaction that is the foundation of this program. While marginally helpful in many spelling programs, the TGs are the core of this one. The General Lesson overview and Sample Lesson Plan found in the beginning are just a prelude to comprehensive daily lessons. With reduced copies of the Student Book, teacher info is "around the edges." After a brief introduction which reviews the Phonics Focus, each of the 34 detailed weekly lesson plans includes a Teaching Overview, Definitions, Word Study Questions, Activities, Dictation, Guided Student Work [teacher-student activities such as spelling riddles, word equations (i.e. king k + s = _______), and missing sound words] and a Test. There is variety in most of these activities/work, but two tasks are consistent through each lesson. Colorful Letters requires the student to write (in pencil) words with "bullets" between syllables and then go back and write over vowels/vowel teams in red and consonant teams/blends with blue and slash through silent e. Dictation is the other important part with one day devoted to various aspects: writing letter or letter teams that spell a sound, writing spelling words, and writing a sentence from an informative paragraph included in the student books that features a number of the week's words. The appendix includes a reproducible weekly spelling test form, spelling review games, spelling rules reference sheets, a list of common English contractions, a phonics overview for the teacher, and (the important) Colorful Keys answer key.

  • Item #: 032555
    ISBN: 9781683441229
    Retail: $36.99
    Rainbow Price: $26.95

     Self-described as Charlotte Mason-flavored, this is language arts curriculum with a Biblical emphasis. As a starting place for each weekly lesson, students will read a continuing story about friends Micah and Claire and their Sunday School experiences. Each week follows the same pattern of activities: Day 1, read the weekly story; Days 2-3, learn topics in writing, grammar and punctuation; Day 4, write responses to a prompt (alternating between picture study, poetry and a Psalm); and Day 5, work on spelling and vocabulary and build a dictionary. Brief assessments are provided quarterly. The fourth quarter is designed for review. Starting with Level 2, students are introduced to punctuation, grammar & writing. students will learn about nouns, compound words, subjects/predicates; possessive nouns; combining sentences; commas; interjections; action verbs; homophones; synonyms/antonyms and specific verbs such as be, has and see and pronouns like this and that. Biblical themes and assignments (such as memorizing verses from 1 Corinthians 13 alongside Micah and Claire) are used throughout. Level 3 will further strengthen previous reading, observation and communication skills, and begin writing paragraphs. Level 4 (expected late 2018) will strengthen previous skills and add study in noun types, verb tenses, mechanics and write compositions.

      This is a combined student and teacher consumable book. On the student pages, teacher notes are highlighted and kept minimal. While designed for you and the student to work along together, this text provides additional direction in the front matter and in the Teacher’s Aid section (about 100 pgs) in the back. This section includes dictionary pages to copy (or you can print off from the publisher’s web site); optional games to practice different language skills; spelling practice ideas; sight words alphabet practice; copywork practice; and grammar study sheets. You’ll want to provide more reading practice opportunities: a template to record these and a recommended Master Books reading list is included. Scriptures are from the NASB. Non-reproducible, consumable and 3-hole punched.

      Master Books recommends beginning this series after Foundations Phonics and Basic Language Skills. However, to select a starting place, the general expectation is that the student’s skills should be comfortably at grade level (in reading, writing, and in handwriting). 

    Approx 476 pgs, pb. ~ Ruth

     

  • Item #: 003890
    ISBN: 9781941183045
    Retail: $25.00
    Rainbow Price: $23.95

    Most homeschooling families would agree that scheduling is essential to fit school, work, chores and family time into the day, but many have not found a system that works for them. Steve and Teri Maxwell have faced the same challenges over the years. They've been homeschooling their eight children for fourteen years and had to find ways to make it work. Managers of Their Homes incorporates solutions that worked for them and for other families as well. The book goes into greater depth than most planning books, and includes sections on scheduling children’s days, school, chores, kitchen work, priorities, and school year vs summer. Since we do not live in the ideal world, sections on interruptions, challenges, and babies are also included. How-to’s include putting a schedule together and implementing the schedule.

    The real question is, “Does it work?” Twenty-four families (many of them large families) tested the book before it was published to see if it helped them. Their comments include “I had read almost every organizational book there was, and I still couldn’t get to where I wanted to be until I applied this method!”, and “My schedule has given me back my sanity!! I can’t believe the way my life has changed since implementing a schedule.” Their encouraging comments are sprinkled throughout the book. 40 pages of sample schedules from these families are included in the appendix. In the back of the book is a “Scheduling Kit” to aid you in getting your own schedule up and running. There are still just 24 hours in a day, but this book can help you get the most out of them.

  • Item #: 000437
    ISBN: 9781118022436
    Retail: $32.95
    Rainbow Price: $20.95

    Subtitled "Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling," this volume lives up to its name. Using a Basic Phonics approach (aka "pure" phonics), no sight words are introduced until basic decoding and reading skills are well-established. Even then, such words are introduced in clusters according to sound and spelling pattern so that they may be more easily learned. If you are familiar with other phonics programs, this one strikes me as a cross between Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Alpha-Phonics. It is well organized, systematic, incremental, and thorough in its presentation. Instructions are clear and lessons require no preparation time. After reading through the brief introduction, you can sit right down with the book and your child, spending 10-15 minutes a day on the lessons. If you feel overwhelmed or ill-equipped to teach your child to read, you should be able to succeed with this program because the author has already done the "legwork" for you. She provides it all - how to present and explain each phonogram, spelling rules that apply, reviews, exercises and helpful tips. Additionally, the author includes exercises for vision/motor coordination exercises (which are apparently identical to ones prescribed by ophthalmologists for problems with eye strength or tracking). Testimonials abound, with success stories in regular classrooms, from home schoolers, with learning disabled children, and with older and remedial students. The approach is multisensory, so it will be just as usable with a visual learner as an auditory or kinesthetic one. Going beyond teaching phonograms, the book covers contractions, plural forms, homonyms and homophones, homographs, prefixes, suffixes, and compound words. An additional helpful feature is the attention given to syllabication. The author's approach here makes it possible for the young reader to confidently tackle even the longest words. As she so aptly states, "How children learn may be different - but what they learn should be the same. Everyone should be able to decode even the longest unfamiliar words, syllable by syllable." Indeed, the book progresses from "a" to "A strong foundation to a house is indispensable" with sure mastery of skills in between. Typeface for the student to read is large (24 pt) so as not to strain the eyes and both printed and written forms of "a" and "g" are taught. The program is self-contained with no supplemental readers or materials required (though you will probably want to supply your student with additional reading material at his skill level). Welcome additions to the 10th edition include: pictures illustrating every sound introduced, lessons in dividing multi-syllable words, and nonsense word reviews to ensure learning. The paperback format also features easy-to-copy, lay-flat pages. The appropriate integration of spelling rules into the phonics lessons (reminiscent of An Acorn in My Hand) make this an excellent spelling reference also. Little proverbs of encouragement, both for teacher and student, are sprinkled generously throughout. One oddity of the book is that it seems to be written from a third person point of view - speaking to the student but, at times, addressing both you and the student as though the author was there speaking to both of you (kind of like a phonics facilitator). This threw me in the first bank of instructions, but, after that, its references to the teacher as a separate entity disappear, and the text can be used as your verbal instruction to your child. The completeness, ease of use, and relatively low cost of this program should make it valuable to homeschoolers as their basal phonics curriculum.

  • Item #: 071005
    ISBN: 9781595571199
    Retail: $39.95
    Rainbow Price: $37.95

    Teacher Manuals are now available in a print format. The same helpful information previously available on CD-ROM is now available in a convenient 3-ring binder. There are suggestions for 3, 4, and 5 day a week lessons, a scripture memory program, and an accompanying music program. The music program teaches students hymns and choruses to complement the lessons and are taken from the books Sing & Be Happy and Treasury of Hymn Histories. Lyrics are printed in the back of the teacher manual. The35 lessons include vocabulary, objectives, character trait activities, lesson quizzes and small-format student pages with answers.

  • Item #: 071003
    ISBN: 9781595571342
    Retail: $39.95
    Rainbow Price: $37.95

    Teacher Manuals are now available in a print format. The same helpful information previously available on CD-ROM is now available in a convenient 3-ring binder. There are suggestions for 3, 4, and 5 day a week lessons, a scripture memory program, and an accompanying music program. The music program teaches students hymns and choruses to complement the lessons and are taken from the books Sing & Be Happy and Treasury of Hymn Histories. Lyrics are printed in the back of the teacher manual. The35 lessons include vocabulary, objectives, character trait activities, lesson quizzes and small-format student pages with answers.

  • Item #: 071000
    ISBN: 9781595570567
    Retail: $39.95
    Rainbow Price: $37.95

     Teacher Manuals are now available in a print format. The same helpful information previously available on CD-ROM is now available in a convenient 3-ring binder. There are suggestions for 3, 4, and 5 day a week lessons, a scripture memory program, and an accompanying music program. The music program teaches students hymns and choruses to complement the lessons and are taken from the books Sing & Be Happy and Treasury of Hymn Histories. Lyrics are printed in the back of the teacher manual. The35 lessons include vocabulary, objectives, character trait activities, lesson quizzes and small-format student pages with answers.

  • Item #: 070736
    ISBN: 9780985723101
    Retail: $65.00
    Rainbow Price: $54.95

    Learning the keyboard is imperative for today's student. Take your typing course to the next level with this 34-week course. Weekly lessons follow a similar format: a classroom or group lesson (parents can read through this lesson with their children) and four daily practice lessons. Practice lessons have the student review the material from the group lesson in daily increments followed by 10-20 minutes of typing practice per day. The author recommends a simple text editor like Microsoft Notepad®, Microsoft Wordpad® or Apple Textedit® (free with your computer operating system) for practice. These programs do not include spell checkers or auto correct features that will cover mistakes and prevent the student from learning correctly.

    The first weekly lesson in the textbook is critical to success. Covering the differences between typing and keyboarding, various keys, the QWERTY keyboard, correct typing posture along and more, the first week ends with a baseline 3-minute typing test. I appreciate the focus on correct hand position and sitting posture as a preventative measure against carpal tunnel syndrome. Lessons cover nearly every aspect of the computer keyboard. Here is just a sample of the skills learned: the space bar and enter key; home row, the letter keys, punctuation and special keys, shift key/caps lock key, practice with typing common words including articles, conjunctions, helping verbs, pronouns and prepositions, learning to use the numeric key pad, tabs/text alignment, typing a friendly letter or business letter, making a certificate of completion plus many others. Complete table of contents is available on our website. Keyboard shortcuts are covered in the appendix. Each lesson focuses on 3-4 letters before advancing to more complicated keys and skills which allows for mastery of material. Students needing more practice can review the practice lessons as necessary, as the suggested practice time is flexible to meet individual student needs.

    A timed typing test is included with every even-numbered lesson to assess student progress. Timed tests begin as one minute tests and progress in length to five minutes by the end of the course. A keyboarding speed progress chart is available at the back of the book to measure progress.

    You may wonder how this course compares to the author's Keyboarding for Homeschoolers -Summer Text? The complete content (13 lessons) from the Summer Text are repeated in this course. Additionally, this course provides more instruction on various special keys like the colon, apostrophe, question marks, brackets, tab key and text alignment, along with additional practice typing commonly used suffixes, helping verbs, pronouns, and prepositions and typing a friendly or business letter. This one year course provides more depth and practice, although some students may do well with a quick summer overview followed by time spent teaching themselves the additional keys and skills for keyboarding aptitude.

    All in all, this is a fully developed, systematic typing course that will provide your high schooler an elective credit on his transcript. It is worth mentioning that the course focuses on memorization of the keyboard through practice on a covered keyboard. A mini-keyboard with color-coded keys is a recommended resource and the author has included a reproducible copy in the textbook. Unfortunately, the color-coded keys are not well distinguished in the black and white graphic. I would recommend printing a keyboard with color-coded keys (coded for finger use) from the internet rather than using the included graphic. Whether college or workforce bound, keyboarding is a valuable skill that our young people need for success and this well-organized, easy to use course may provide them everything necessary for success. SC. 284 pgs. ~Deanne

  • Item #: 060249
    ISBN: 9781599903064
    Retail: $15.99
    Rainbow Price: $7.39

    A mean uncle, a mysterious woman and her one-eyed cat, and a little girl named Madeleine – these are the ingredients for this wonderful Parisian culinary tale! Every summer Madeleine goes to work for her terrible Uncle Lard, who forces her to wash all the dishes at his restaurant and never allows her to do what she truly loves – cook. One day, when she is sent on a shopping errand, she mistakenly goes into a curious looking shop only to discover that the things she buys from the shop owner, Madame Pamplemousse, are the most delightful things she has ever tasted! In a fit of jealousy, her uncle forces her to become a spy on the shop owner and steal recipes, convincing Madame Pamplemousse that she needs a cleaning girl. Will Madeleine really steal the secret and will she ever get to cook again? This simple chapter book tells a creative, captivating tale that I really enjoyed reading and, aside from several tricky French and culinary words, would be a great early chapter book for an eager reader. 138 hardcover pages with occasional illustrations. – Laura

  • Item #: 058906
    ISBN: 9780545208246
    Retail: $11.99
    Rainbow Price: $8.95

    When you combine snack-making skills with reading, word recognition, & context clues you get a fun & memorable lesson! Simple text and helpful illustrations help you make 28 nutritious treats with seasonal themes such as a tortilla turkey, a wheat bread bus, a Columbus Day ship and a hibernating bear. Pages are reproducible and have recipe cards for students to color. There is a Scripture reference on the dedication page, but there are no religious holidays named here. Connections to CCS and MyPlate are included. Workbook, 64pp. ~ Sara

  • Item #: 058443
    ISBN: 9780983180098
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $36.95

    The study of science begins with an appreciation of the world about us - the living, breathing creation that is ours to enjoy. The beauty of our natural world surrounds us. It encompasses the rising sun in the early morn, overflows the river beds, and spans the wings of eagles. Teaching our children to appreciate the beauty and the science of their natural world is a goal worthy of the consideration of parents and teachers alike.

    This charming 1950s reprint has been designed to assist you in teaching the natural sciences. Offering 100 lessons that follow a traditional monthly school schedule, September through June, each lesson begins with an overview, explanatory information, and any necessary teacher preparations. The activities that follow provide the core of the lessons. Activities are divided into four areas: All Grades (1-8); Primary Grades (1-3); Intermediate Grades (3-5) and Junior Grades (5-8). Overlapping grade recommendations are numerous, making this a perfect resource for homeschool families and multi-level co-ops or classrooms. A listing of recommended books and web links is included to further expand lessons. A sampling of lessons included are: Animal life in the classroom, Birds going South, Autumn colors, planting bulbs, Insects-friends and foes in Autumn; How Plants/Animals prepare for Winter; Stars in December; Winter Habits of Some Wild Mammals; Who Has Seen the Wind?; Classroom Hatcheries; Nature Excursions in the Spring; and many more! Also included are monthly calendars which correspond to each unit and provide additional observations and activities.

    Let me share from Lesson 61 - Little Things We Seldom See-Germs: "What a thrill to the Dutch janitor Leeuwenhoek when, with lenses ground by himself, he saw 'wee beasties-a thousand times smaller than a louse's eye' in a drop of water! What he saw were the first bacteria seen by human eyes. These tiny, living things eat and grow, travel and multiply, and live lives as real as those of any other plants or animals. They live in almost every sort of place: in water, in soil, in air, on dust, in milk and other food, in and on our bodies; we cannot escape them…" Activity suggestions for all grade reinforces that germs hitchhike on drops of saliva, the breath, handkerchiefs, pencils etc. and asks students to make a mural entitled, "Little Hitchhikers." A Primary and Junior Grade activity is to illustrate a poem on germs. Junior and Intermediate Grade activities include: Observing raw milk and pasteurized milk for a few days to determine which milk sours first and reading a poem entitled, "Mushroom Song."

    All in all, this resource provides a wealth of instructional information to engage children in learning about the natural world around them. Lessons are easy to follow and provide ample activity suggestions, allowing you to do them all or to pick and choose activities to best meet your educational goals. As a family who incorporated nature studies throughout our home-learning, this would have quickly become a "go-to" resource, along with the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock, as the lessons are more specific to younger and middle school children along with more age-appropriate activities. Black and White Illustrations abound. Detailed Index. 445 pgs, pb. ~Deanne

  • Item #: 055766
    ISBN: 9781623410872
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $19.00

    There's a lot of versatility in this short course on creative writing a la IEW methodology. There are ten lessons (each will take one to three class periods/days). Lessons have three parts: learning about some aspect of writing stories and assigning homework stories, doing an in-class writing assignment to practice what was just learned, and reading aloud homework stories to each other with time for feedback. This book is written to the teacher, but most of the pages are for the student. These can be reproduced for a family or classroom. Instruction progresses from planning/writing a seven-sentence story to rewriting a fable in their own words, using pictures to write a story, point of view, creating memorable characters, crafting dialogue, writing scenes, creating conflict, recognizing satisfactory endings, starting, and revising. The purchaser is entitled to a downloadable copy of the Pictures for Unit 5 e-book (downloading instructions are included).

    Very flexible, this course could be used as a creative writing unit during the school year or as a special summer unit. You could also go through the entire course once a year for several years using alternate assignments or take 3-4 days per lesson rather than the 1-2 expected. This last option would allow your student to practice writing more stories. 96 pgs, spiral-bound. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 047604
    ISBN: 9781934338391
    Retail: $27.95
    Rainbow Price: $19.95

    If you have a middle school (or older) student who is a striving (a.k.a. struggling) reader, you are aware of two things. First, you are desperate to help them. Striving readers often derail in decoding ability because they guess at multi-syllabic words based only on beginning phonemes. In essence, they are reading only a small percentage of the words – usually sight words – and their comprehension is affected. After that it's a downward spiral as self-image is impacted. Second, there aren't a lot of affordable, effective resources available. Organized around the six basic English syllable patterns and providing instructional sequences, games, and activities that appeal to older students and make it easy on the teacher (a.k.a. Mom and Dad), this manual provides a solution to both dilemmas. (I think it would also work well as a follow-up to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.)

    The six syllable patterns – CVC, CV, Cle, R-control, CVCC, CVVC – are taught in order. Each pattern is covered in a chapter full of lessons spread over 1-3 weeks. To round out the decoding instruction, concluding chapters cover the hard and soft "c" and "g" sounds as well as the sounds of /sh/ (because they are confusing); there are 15 weeks of instruction overall. Lessons are detailed – but not quite scripted – and start with a Do Now segment which serves as an informal diagnostic tool. Mini-lessons are presented, usually over one to two days, followed by guided practice. All teaching segments are kept short (10-20 minutes) which works best for the student but is also an advantage for busy moms. Since the ever-present goal is automaticity (students being able to decode automatically), the teacher can judge how much practice is needed and choose to add, repeat, or skip various components. Guided practice includes graphic organizers, worksheets, and games. Each chapter ends with a post-test using nonsense or "pseudo" words, a technique which avoids a dependence on sight-reading.

    If this sounds confusing, you won't be confused by the detailed scope and sequence that provides a roadmap through the chapters and the teaching sequences. At a glance you can see the suggested time frame for each chapter, time to allow for each lesson, and the materials needed. The accompanying CD-ROM saves in prep time. It provides PDF versions of the book's reproducibles, assessments, and full-color game materials. Many of the game materials are cards, so I would suggest printing them out on cardstock. It's recommended that you use an individual-sized whiteboard and dry erase markers for student responses. Since this resource was developed with a classroom in mind, there are references to pair-work and some group activities. I don't think it will be too tricky to adapt these to the homeschool setting and can see value in bringing siblings into the mix for some of the games. Answers, where needed, are provided right with the exercises. 183 pgs, pb ~ Janice

  • Item #: 045285
    ISBN: 9781587611148
    Retail: $16.95
    Rainbow Price: $6.50

    This book covers many holidays, special occasions, rituals, and traditions within many religions and in many parts of the world, and makes for an interesting read and a real education on different cultures. The discussion of each topic often includes variations that one might find, and, of course, the origin or history of the tradition. Topics are organized by seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. You'll find traditions that are well known in the American culture at large, such as Easter, Independence Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, wedding cakes, and even Super Bowl Sunday. You'll find some that may be a little less known such as Purim, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice. And you'll find some that are obscure for most of us here in the U.S., such as Maslenitsa and Vesak, and customs in China for when a baby is born. Not only will you travel the world, but you'll also get some creative ideas, such as what to do after the Thanksgiving meal, or ideas for making Mother's Day special. Besides educating us and our children, reading a book like this can remind us to savor life and stop going through the motions. 272 pgs, pb ~ Caryl

  • Item #: 043854
    ISBN: 9781600924354
    Retail: $12.99
    Rainbow Price: $10.50

    How about a trip to the zoo? - the seal tank is a lot of fun, and most of us can't wait to see the big cats, right? The fun is sometimes spoiled by only one thing (other than sunburn and ice cream spilled on your shorts, that is): the evolutionary descriptions that are so commonplace on the info plaques. While that is not worth canceling your trip for, it can spoil it a little, as you read through paragraph after paragraph of assumptions and unsubstantiated theories. So take the Zoo Guide with you! Packed with info and colorful photos, more than 100 animals are detailed through aspects of their individual design, their specific features, fun facts, and related family members. A fact file for each animal also gives information on class, order, family, genus/species, size, weight, original diet, present diet, and habitat. Published by Answers in Genesis, these guides promote a 6-day creationist point-of-view, and use a few pages in introduction to briefly discuss this perspective. Each animal's information includes a full-color photo highlights on God's design in the animal, features, fun facts, and biological data such as the animal's class, genus, size and habitat. –Zach

  • Item #: 042250
    ISBN: 9780756629021
    Retail: $14.99
    Rainbow Price: $10.95

    Mandarin Chinese is an intimidating language to learn, and materials that allow young beginners to simply "try it out" are few and far between. If you or one of your children is considering a serious study of Mandarin, but aren't sure you want to invest in a Rosetta Stone program yet, this little book and CD will provide you with a terrific introduction to Chinese characters, pinyin spellings of Chinese words (Chinese words written in our alphabet, like "māo"), and pronunciation of some basic Chinese words and phrases. For every word or phrase taught, you will find both the Chinese character(s) and the pinyin version. An audio CD is packaged inside the front cover, and every time you see a headphones symbol and a track number, you know you can turn to the CD to hear what you are reading. The first section of the book serves as a comprehensive introduction which includes general information about Mandarin Chinese, an explanation of pinyin, tables of initial and final Chinese sounds equated with similar sounds in English, the four "tones" of Mandarin, an explanation of Chinese characters, details on the strokes that make up the characters, memory tips to remember characters, and some very basic grammar pointers. The next eight chapters focus on teaching basic vocabulary, including greetings, Chinese names, words for family members, simple travel phrases, parts of the body, numbers 1-100, days of the week, names of months, years, seasons and weather words, transportation words and phrases, food-related vocabulary and phrases, tourism, and even some basic slang like "ok" and "bye-bye." Conversation Practice pages are scattered throughout the book, and offer the reader an opportunity to use the vocabulary they have learned in simple sentences which are also always located on the audio CD. The layout is very exciting, with plenty of full-color photos, graphics and colorful charts, and details on the history and culture of China keep the language study relevant and fascinating. There's really nothing to not like about this book. If you are a complete beginner and unsure if you can tackle learning Chinese, this is a great place to start. You will be amazed at the amount of content that has been squeezed into only 128 pages! - Jess

  • Item #: 041448
    ISBN: 9780486467726
    Retail: $12.99
    Rainbow Price: $9.95

    Written by the sisters of the man who wrote the American Boy's Handy Book (Lina and Adelia Beard - two of the founders of Girl Scouting in America), this book is full of various activities and pastimes for girls. Originally published in 1887, the book does have some outdated or impractical ideas, but many are surprisingly fun and doable. Even the ones you can't do are fun to read about as you imagine the fun that Victorian American girls would have had. Like the Boy's book, the activities are divided into spring, summer, fall, and winter, so pastimes can be found that fit into certain times of year and holidays. The book opens with some great ideas for an April Fool's Day party that makes me wish I had discovered this book when I was younger. Maybe I'll give a few of the ideas a try around the office anyway! Then the book works through the year giving ideas for projects, devices, toys, gifts, dolls, recipes, decorations, perfumes, modeling, painting, and games. Clear and practical directions for how to make or play everything are provided, and the book is sure to encourage girls to get out and be active while remaining courteous and ladylike. Preserving flowers, using leaves and flowers for decorations, Easter egg activities, how to dry starfish, how to make a hammock, corn-husk dolls, making a fan, ornamental gourds, how to make a telephone, home exercise, window decorations, making homemade candy, and plenty of indoor and outdoor games are just a few of the ideas included. Black and white drawings illustrate many of the ideas. 474 pgs, pb. ~ Rachel

  • Item #: 037523
    ISBN: 9780982066607
    Retail: $27.00
    Rainbow Price: $26.50

    Indeed a sound approach to reading, this program is a solid, phonetically comprehensive program with reinforcing reading text incorporated directly in the book. It reminds me somewhat of a cross between Alphaphonics and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, but with improved teacher instruction, lesson implementation, and textual presentation. As in those popular programs, your child will begin reading as soon as the first letter sounds are taught. And, in a mere 90 "byte-sized" lessons, your child will be reading at a beginning 3rd grade reading level. This program is also recommended for both remedial and ELL students. In fact, the school version of this program it is currently being used in more than 20 elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school.

    Prior to beginning the lessons in this book, your child should have letter name and recognition skills and some phonemic awareness (the author provides background and methods for teaching these, or use another product that teaches these skills; see our Early Childhood section). You will want to read all of the preliminary teacher pages before actually starting lessons; otherwise you will miss out on helpful background information and other resources provided for you. While instruction in each lesson is devoted to reading, the author presents a great spelling methodology, complete with word lists, to integrate with lessons along with (brief) guidelines for incorporating handwriting, vocabulary, and creative writing into the program. Also in the intro section are specific instructions for teaching letter sounds, blending, playing Scramble Spell, and other implementation directions which would be redundant to include in each lesson. You should also teach the first four letter sounds introduced (a, t, s, c) BEFORE lesson 1-1, using the approach outlined in the teacher section. Here, the author strongly recommends using a set of flashcards WITHOUT pictures on them (such as the Alphabet Basics cards we've included below).

    The program teaches roughly 80 common sound/spelling patterns, based on the Orton-Gillingham phonograms as well as nearly all of the 100 most common sight words. I appreciate the author's sentiment below her Sequence of Skills table as she says, "Words from the list of 100 most common sight words that are not listed here are words that are decodable," as this echoes one of my pet peeves. Too many programs introduce phonetically decodable words as "sight words". Other features that captivate my heart for phonetic instruction are: integrated review of previously-learned sounds in each lesson; large, readable font with initial extra spacing between words and letters; immediate phonetic skill reinforcement in reading selections; word "play" incorporated into spelling lessons; longer "introduction" of each short vowel sound to prevent confusion; emphasis on blending from the beginning; and helpful review of phonograms by phoneme (yes!) in the latter lessons.

    Prior to the first lesson, a "How to Teach Sound Bytes Lessons" section concisely recaps directions in the teacher section of the book. Most lessons follow a similar format. Previously introduced sounds are reviewed, 1-2 new sounds are introduced, sight words (if any) are presented, new sounds are practiced in words, then sentences, and a story using only old and newly learned sounds and sight words is read. Lessons should take from 15-30 minutes per day. Lessons are generally grouped into units of 5 (lesson 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5), though there is no apparent reason for the grouping (maybe to accommodate a 5-day school week?). Units are also divided into chapters. Chapter One (38 lessons) teaches letter sounds and CVC words, ending with an impressively-long reading selection. Chapter Two (10 lessons) focuses on long vowel, silent-e constructions. Chapter Three (25 lessons) covers more advanced phonemes like r-controlled vowels, vowel digraphs, silent letters, and multi-syllabic words. Chapter Four (17 lessons) is "Challenge". Here is the synthesis of phonograms by sound as well as some final review and a list of additional sound patterns not included in the lessons. Font size and spacing between letters and words on the student pages tapers as the student progresses but, even at the end, is not too small or tight for an early reader. Line drawings scattered throughout the volume are sparse, attractive and non-distracting.

    The author suggests that your child practice handwriting the capital letters when learning letter NAMES and practice handwriting lower-case letters when learning the letter SOUNDS in this program. This can be done informally with a ruled white board (or paper) and marker or by using a beginning handwriting book (see descriptions and graphics on our website).

    I would strongly suggest incorporating the author's Scramble Spell game (word lists included) into most lessons rather than a standard spelling program, especially for beginning readers. This provides additional reinforcement for newly-learned sounds and adds a kinesthetic element to the lessons. By making additional words from an initial "base" word you explore onsets and rimes, word building, and practice encoding without all of the writing and rewriting that might turn your fun learning session into "work". A set of paper letter "cards" is provided in the book, but you may want to use a ready-made set of letter tiles or manipulatives for this (some suggestions below). If you want your child to have more practice actually writing words, follow her advice for incorporating creative writing into the program. Even the youngest students will enjoy making their own books that align with their budding language skills.

    The author suggests following up her program by having your child read books from a carefully sequenced list included at the end of the book. She thoughtfully provides lexile scores, implementation instructions, and further resources for locating other appropriate reading materials.

  • Item #: 035134
    ISBN: 9781483831091
    Retail: $7.99
    Rainbow Price: $5.95

     Calendar skills, time of day, reading clocks (analog and digital, to ½ hour), and reading and writing time.

  • Item #: 034817
    ISBN: 9781578960811
    Retail: $16.95
    Rainbow Price: $7.95

    It is generally acknowledged by my family that I crashed and burned with unit studies. A summer spent in planning went down in flames the first month. Returning to more comfortable curriculum choices, I didn't abandon this educational methodology but entrusted my children into more capable "unit study" hands with our involvement in a homeschool co-op. After reading this amazing unit study manual by Barbara Wagner, I recognize that "my problem" was that "I" spent the summer in planning. Had I used her simple yet incredibly thorough planning methodology I would have met my needs for structure and control and let my children's creativity emerge, all while reigniting the love for learning. Mom becomes the administrator, facilitator, and co-learner. This, I can handle.

    A powerful planning tool deceptively housed in a small 1" three-ring binder, you find yourself wondering if anyone can effectively explain How to Teach with Unit Studies in only 92 pages. Yes, she can! Start with an appealing analogy to eagles; add the I3 (pronounced I-three) Unit Study; stir in a cup of wisdom and a dash of simplicity and you have the recipe for successful unit studies.

    What exactly is the I3 Unit Study? The first "I" refers to Individual. This is the first step in unit study planning and where you and your child decide on a topic for your study. This is the time to yield to the childlike wonderments that tease our minds (i.e. why do stars shine?). The second "I" stands for Inquiry - the time to ask questions; narrow a topic down to a specific question or thing. We want our children to capture a discovery spirit - to create and spin a web of knowledge. The third "I" refers to the instruction portion of the study - pick a thinking skill, choose a project, state the assignment, and determine the learning objectives. The really important aspect of this entire process is that until you get to the very last "job" (determine the learning objectives), the process is student-directed and adult-assisted. This is where I made my big mistake - not getting my children involved in the planning. In Mrs. Wagner's method only the learning objectives part is adult-directed but still student-assisted.

    If all this sounds a bit confusing, you will not be confused by Mrs. Wagner's clear presentation of her approach. She thoroughly explains each step showing how you can facilitate your children's participation in the planning; her graphically pleasing layout adds to the clarity. She also provides some stunningly simple, yet surprisingly empowering techniques for determining both the "pick a thinking skill" and the "choose a project" parts. Relying on Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives for thinking skills and a useful chart for possible projects, she brings both together into a handy Dial-a-Unit-Study tool. This makes the whole assignment planning process not only manageable but also FUN (and part of the learning process).

    Giving practical guidelines for putting it all together, Mrs. Wagner suggests that six assignments make up one unit study and that you can do six to twelve unit studies a year. Since there are six fact-finding questions, six thinking skills levels, six project delivery modes, one of each makes for a well-rounded unit study. Yet, she cautions that this is just an "ideal" - not essential - and families need to stay flexible. There are lots of reproducible forms for your planning pleasure as well as many examples of unit studies and assignments the Wagner family used.

    Those of us with perfectionist tendencies will appreciate the time and attention the author gives to determining learning objectives, study evaluations, and keeping records. Although she relates all of her studies to Hewitt's Learning Objectives for Grades K-8, I think any set of learning objectives would be useable. Surprisingly simple, her approach to record keeping produces an amazing portfolio of the student's work. Mrs. Wagner encourages evaluation of all assignments and studies and occasionally uses standard testing methods but typically this is another area where both student and teacher are interactively involved.

    The wisdom referred to earlier is both sprinkled throughout and concentrated into one section of this manual. Addressed are such issues as philosophy, multiple ages & levels, creating a learning environment, building relationships, and getting to know your child as well as FAQs (frequently asked questions) such as the ubiquitous "What about math and language arts?" (For your information, Mrs. Wagner suggests that you incorporate these into studies as much as possible but work on them every day.)

    Wanting to see if I could actually plan a unit study following this procedure but not having students to help with my planning, I was nearly derailed by trying to choose a topic to study. I just didn't have any pressing questions I needed to answer (too far from youthful wonderment, I suppose). But then in a flash of inspiration I decided that I would really like to know why (fact-finding question) chocolate has such a universal appeal. Using the Dial-a-Unit-Study, I concluded that I could describe (thinking skill) this appeal by telling a story (delivery mode). And the wheels started turning (slowly and rustily, I admit). Let's see, first I will need to find out a bit more about those endorphins lurking in chocolate and what function they serve in our body and then decide if my story will be about a family who always incorporates chocolate into family traditions (Hershey's kisses at Christmas) or about a group for homeschooling moms who recognize chocolate as a suitable way to pamper themselves for a job well done.

    One last note about that Dial-a-Unit-Study gizmo. Although the instructions were clear, I did have some difficulty and had to rely on scissors to punch the hole rather than the provided brad. The whole affair took just a little loosening up to provide satisfactory results. A small quibble for an exceptional product. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 031607
    ISBN: 9781853262418
    Retail: $6.99
    Rainbow Price: $5.50

    These short stories all have a little bit of humor and irony from them, often with a twist at the end that you weren't expecting. There is the story about a woman who makes a sacrifice to buy a Christmas present for her husband, who surprises her with a gift she's always wanted, but can't use. Another story tells of a homeless man wandering the street, trying to be arrested so he may be sent to jail and have shelter for the winter. When he finally decides to turn his life around, will he have a chance? The characters are diverse, such as a hypocritical cosmopolite who asserts that he is much too worldly to have an attachment to anywhere on the planet, yet when somebody cuts down his hometown, he creates a scuffle. There is also a story from a dog's perspective about how he has grown tired of the name "Lovey," and being coddled and confined to a small apartment with a large lady who tries to pass time all day. At the end, he is overjoyed when a man takes him away and names him "Pete." Each of the stories are fast reads because they are not overblown in detail or lengthy description. Each episode shares some ideas about life and offers some thoughtful messages. A Wordsworth Classic.

  • Item #: 031158
    ISBN: 9780761180807
    Retail: $12.95
    Rainbow Price: $9.95

     This may sound too good to be true, but I loved how this book encourages kids to think about why they want a million dollars. The presentation of the content is great! It makes complicated things like investments sound friendly and realistic. Kids are starting businesses and making their own money all the time these days. What a valuable resource to teach them how to grow that money for later. Good character is stressed throughout this easy-to-read format. sc, 133pp. ~ Sara

  • Item #: 029986
    ISBN: 9780439767545
    Retail: $39.99
    Rainbow Price: $27.95

    A complete preschool/kindergarten program in disguise! You'd never know it from the name. Picture this – a sturdy, colorfully decorated file box with touch fastener lid closure opening to reveal a teacher handbook and colored dividers entitled Back to School, Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer; each filled with 40 double-sided pages. Yes, the front of each page does have a large, reproducible graphic image of whatever the topic is (Gingerbread House, Families, Mayflower, Calendar, Thermometer, etc.), but the back contains accompanying information and activities to use with that daily theme – including Book Links suggesting correlating literature to use with the topic! One or more of these uses the included manipulative graphic. For example, one of the Mayflower (Fall card #22) activities is entitled What Would You Bring?. First, you discuss what life was like in 1620 and talk about ship transport, the size of the Mayflower, and how limited the storage space was, forcing the pilgrims to make wise decisions about what they could bring on the trip to America. After brainstorming what would be useful and researching what the Pilgrims actually brought, you use a copy of the Mayflower graphic to create a lift-the-flap ship for your child to put whatever supplies they think they'd need in the cargo hold! This activity gets children using problem solving and thinking skills, gives them a little history study, shows them how to research, and incorporates some art as they draw items to bring on board. Another suggested activity is writing diary entries about life on the Mayflower. First you read one or more of the suggested literature. Then make nine copies of the Mayflower, labeling each ship with the week (1-9). You and your child then make short journal entries for each week, expressing how they think the Pilgrims might have felt at each stage of the journey. When you're done, bind the ships together into a little book. Incorporate learning about calendar time; days, weeks, months; and journal writing. The last activity requires a world map and tracking the journey across the Atlantic. A trip outside with some spray paint, yarn, or chalk has you estimating the actual size of the ship and marking an area so children can get an idea of the physical dimensions. Then, imagine 125 people in that area! Better yet, use those teddy bear counters in a scale-sized Mayflower space to bring home the crowded conditions on the ship. Here, you practice measurement, length, width, scale and get some fresh air! This is just one day/unit of learning from the middle of the Fall section. There are also patterns & plans immediately preceding this one with Pilgrim Boy, Pilgrim Girl and Pilgrim Hat and following it are Cornucopia and Turkey. I would say Patterns with a Purpose is a real understatement of what you're getting here! You are actually getting an entire year of seasonal thematic activities and curriculum for preschool/kindergarten AND delightful graphic patterns to use along with it. The small accompanying teacher manual has the usual standards correlation jargon, directions for classroom instruction, blah, blah BUT also some useful additional suggestions for the patterns and a helpful BIGGIE Patterns Index, showing each day's (by section) graphics and themes.

  • Item #: 029491
    Retail: $14.95
    Rainbow Price: $13.95

    This high school planner includes 52 weeks of record-keeping space, enabling you to plan and school year-round or to use the summer or other "break" weeks to record any elective classes or extracurricular activities. Each week is laid out in an easy-to-read two page spread format. The bulk of the right and left-hand pages consists of a weekly assignment calendar that features the days of the week along the top, and nine separate subject rows along the left-hand side. Each grid square contains a box for a checkmark or score, as well as a space to record the amount of time spent on each subject. The far right-hand side contains a listing of additional books and videos to be used that week as well as a grid to list how much time was spent per week on each subject, to make calculation of credit hours easier. The planner also includes a curriculum planning grid in the front, and is helpfully spiral-bound. - Jess

  • Item #: 026593
    ISBN: 9780060001230
    Retail: $5.99
    Rainbow Price: $4.95
    (numbers 1-100)