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Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons

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Items 1 - 30 of 694
  • Item #: 002274
    ISBN: 9780671631987
    Retail: $24.00
    Rainbow Price: $13.45

    Four years after using this book to learn to read at age 4, our twins would still take this book off the shelf and re-read the silly stories that made learning to read immediately rewarding. It is a phonics-based, non-consumable book authored by Siegfried Engelmann using the DISTAR method. Faced with two small children eager to read like their older sisters, but who were not ready for the more intensive writing and spelling accompanying most other reading programs, I was at a loss. All they needed at this tender age were enough decoding skills to enable them to read. We had already covered letter sounds (via song), so the twins literally zipped through the early lessons and quickly digested blends, vowel sounds, and digraphs, thoroughly enjoying every lesson. In fact, they begged for "extra" lessons, anxious to get to the next story! Large, bold type assures learning without eye strain. This volume filled a need in our own family and, judging from the numerous requests/recommendations by our customers, has done so for others as well.

  • 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 #: 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 #: 043358
    ISBN: 9780967634906
    Retail: $79.00
    Rainbow Price: $49.15

    While it may sound ambitious to think your child can learn letter sounds, letter recognition, blending sounds, reading, writing, spelling and typing all in one program, this well-produced and engaging software may help them do just that. It is made up of two CD-ROMs: Read, Write & Type! and Spaceship Challenge. Read, Write & Type! is the core of the program and provides the instruction, while Spaceship Challenge provides assessment. There are 40 lessons in Read, Write & Type! with a new letter or sound introduced in each one until children have learned the basic 40 speech sounds in English. These sounds include 21 which are represented by one consonant, 5 represented by two consonants (sh, th, ch, wh, and ng), the short and long sounds of each vowel, and then "oo" as in both "look" and "tool," "ou" as in "loud," and "aw" as in "hawk." The lessons are grouped into levels where four letters or sounds are learned at each level. If you follow the plan provided, children will complete one level in Read, Write & Type! before they switch to Spaceship Challenge for testing on what they've learned (starting after Level 2). The lessons are based around games, so learning is a fun and interactive experience. When you begin the program, the user can view the introduction to learn the back-story and be introduced to the characters (or storytellers). Most of the time the screen you will see includes a keyboard with keys divided under right and left "houses" and two little hands in the corners. The player also sees that each of the letters (and corresponding storyteller) "live" in a key shown on the animated keyboard. Above the keyboard, the scene changes as the user plays different games. In the introduction Vexor, a nasty virus, comes to town and steals all the letters from the animated keyboard. It's up to the player and the two talking hands to work together to win all of the letters back. As the player begins each round, they see which letter Vexor will offer to give back, pending the player's performance on the games. The player is instructed on how to type that letter on the keyboard, and the sound of the letter is pronounced (letters found on the left-hand side of the keyboard within easy reach are the first to be introduced). The player then plays a series of games with Vexor to try and win the letter. These are based heavily on sound and ask the child to associate the sound with a picture and determine if the sound is made when saying the name of the object in the picture. Different games test the player's ability to identify the sound at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of words. Players are constantly encouraged to say the name of the pictures or the sounds of the letters out loud as they type to engage their eyes, ears, mouths and fingers to learn the letters and sounds. After they play the letter/sound games with Vexor, they must help the letter's storyteller get to the Story Tree by typing the letters they hear pronounced by an animated mouth. At the Story Tree, the mouth again pronounces the sounds of letters, and later words and simple sentences, as they type to complete the story. The games are different in Spaceship Challenge, although the emphasis is still on recognizing sounds and matching to letters. In the Sound Game, a picture shows one of three different monitors, and the player will identify the sound at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the word pictured. The Reading Game tests reading comprehension by asking the player to match the sentence or word to one of the pictures shown below. In the Spelling Game, a picture is shown and the word is pronounced, and the player is asked to type in the word correctly. If the player completes these tasks at or above the threshold for passing, they move on to the next level in Read, Write & Type! Additional fun reinforcement activities include the Power Fountain game which reinforces typing accuracy and speed, and a simulated e-mail area, where children can type and "send" messages (a selection of stored responses are "sent" in return). The spiral-bound lesson book also includes plenty of introductory material for parents, including an overview of the program, a scope and sequence, suggestions for students of different ages/abilities, explanations of the games in the software, and more (please note that the book does reference some additional pieces like posters and keyboard covers that have not been included with the program for quite some time). All in all, this program has some good things going for it. The software is well-produced, not cheesy, and the sounds that are pronounced are clear and easy to understand. Because the emphasis is on learning the sounds, not just letter recognition (players are even asked to type "fffff," not "F"), this aids them in learning to sound out and recognize words later on. The games are fun to play and motivational, and the range of supplementary materials included and available (some on their website) round out the program to include non-computer time. Additionally, children will get plenty of typing practice with no pressure for speed, which gives them a leg up on children who don't learn to type until they are older. While I wouldn't use this in place of a phonics program, it is a meaty supplement that may be best used with a "no-frills" instruction book like How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Reading Made Easy or The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and/or with phonics workbooks (to reinforce writing skills which are not used as much in the software). This will provide practice they'll want to do! Please note that this is the 2000 edition of the program on CD-ROM; the newest version is only available from Talking Fingers as a download.System requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista (but not Windows 7); Macintosh 7.5-9.2 or OS X Classic. - Jess

  • 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 #: 052565
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $58.00

    Dianne Craft is well known for her successful approaches for equipping families (and teachers) to overcome problems faced by their struggling, but bright learners. Designed for home use, this manual provides an overview of how the brain works, right brain vs. left brain traits, detailed information on the four identified learning gates, brain training exercises, suggestions for a weekly sequence plus daily lesson plans for struggling learners.

    Overwhelmed yet? Don't be. Mrs. Craft has created an easy to use resource that may save you hundreds of dollars in occupational therapy. Beginning with a clear introduction to brain integration therapy she walks you through a brief overview of struggling learners, the importance of crawling and understanding the function of the brain with a focus on the role of the left and right brain.

    With the foundation of the importance of brain integration put forth, she then introduces us to the four learning gates: Visual Processing, Visual/Motor (writing), Auditory Processing, and the Attention/Focusing/Behavior. Observable characteristics of the blocked gates are presented alongside simple activities to determine if your child presents with a blocked gate in one of these areas. For example, a parent might recognize that their child who is struggling to learn to read has a blocked Visual Processing gate if the child needs to underline or point to each word as they read or reverses letters (or words) while reading. While the manual focuses on therapies to improve blocks in the first three gates, Mrs. Craft does offer detailed information on correcting a blocked Attention/Focusing/Behavior gate in her Biology of Behavior audio CD series, which we are pleased to offer separately.

    The remaining sections in the manual are dedicated to explaining a variety of exercises to improve brain integration. These include detailed explanations and step by step instructions paired with numerous black and white photo demonstrations, which leads me into one of the most valuable aspects of this manual: the detailed schedule suggestions.

    The suggested schedule is divided into three areas: Brain Training Sequences designed to be done daily Monday through Thursday; the once a week Brain Training Session which provides exercises specific to one of the blocked gates, and daily lesson plans for reading, writing and math. Parents will find time spent in each subject varies but parents should anticipate 30-45 minutes daily on each subject.

    All in all, this is a user friendly guide for home use. The exercises are well explained and laid out. The background information provides the parent with a deeper understanding of our children with learning glitches. Detailed diagnostic checklists, a diagnostic reading grade placement test, case studies and the optional online support from Mrs. Craft provide parents with necessary tools to best meet the needs of their unique learner. One caveat I would make is regarding the time commitment necessary to gain full benefit of the brain training. The program described will be time intensive for the parent, and the author acknowledges that a parent's willingness to devote a consistent and fairly intense effort is vital to success. If you are looking for something more specific in scope, we also offer Dianne Craft's Teaching the Right Brained Child DVD and Smart Kids Who Hate to Write DVD. Mrs. Craft's materials can be used independently as standalone products, or use them together as they complement each other well. There is minor overlap between the Brain Integration Manual and her workshop DVDs, but there is not a great deal of redundancy and using them together provides parents with additional tools. 2013 Edition. Spiral bound with included 18"x 12" Writing Eight Exercise template. 151 pgs. ~ Deanne

  • Item #: 000335
    ISBN: 9781929683581
    Retail: $110.00
    Rainbow Price: $82.95

    "It's just common sense!" Actually, it's the Blue Book Common Sense Reading Program and yes, everything about this program is common sense. A very complete program organized around quality children's literature (like all LLATL programs) and covering phonics, reading, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, handwriting, and higher-order reasoning. Phonics instruction is systematic, introducing a few sounds at a time and providing opportunities to read a "real" (small story book) book which uses those sounds. The literature component - carefully selected children's favorites - reminds students that the reason for all the hard work in phonics is the joy of reading wonderful books. And woven through both of these elements is comprehensive instruction in all aspects of language arts. Relying heavily on Ruth Beechick's principles for teaching reading (including her letter dice activities), the program includes a wide variety of activities appealing to all learning styles. The teacher's manual is a homeschooler's dream with all the work having been done for you, taking you step-by-step through the 36-week program. New skills are listed for each lesson with a materials list included at the beginning. Almost no teacher preparation is needed - you teach as you read. All answers are provided within the lesson. Higher-order thinking activities are italicized. Examples and diagrams are user-friendly including the easy-to-follow references to the Student Activity Book. Each of the four parts (readiness, short vowels, consonant blends and short vowels, and long vowels) concludes with an evaluation for determining your child's readiness for the next level. The Student Activity Book contains the materials (except for household and school supplies) needed for cut and paste, word wheels, flip books, picture sequencing, story-telling puppets, PLUS handwriting pages that teach all upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation. The comfortable, natural handwriting method that isn't exactly traditional, modern, or italic was developed by the authors. This handwriting instruction is coordinated with the phonics and includes pages for children to carefully complete and display or give as gifts.

    The Student Activity Book is consumable, even having an easy-release binding that allows for clean page removal. Even the back cover is put to good use providing the miniature book covers to be added to the personal reading chart that marks the child's progress. 28 separate readers cover short vowels, blends (bridge readers), and long vowels. They are small-sized for little hands and include black-and-white illustrations. Stories are engaging which is a good thing since a week's worth of learning activities are built around them. The student uses puppets to retell the stories, completes sequencing activities with a series of reader-related events, and answers comprehension questions. One interesting aspect of the teacher-student interaction concerning these readers is that the week's lesson starts off with the teacher reading the small book to the child. After several lessons thoroughly covering the new phonics steps and practice reading parts of the story, the student concludes the week with the successful reading of the small book. This is an effective variation of the typical approach because the goal of reading the book is always before the student. The materials packet is a useful collection of color-coded letter and word cards to use for learning and review along with cards used for reinforcement games and, of course, the letter dice (to be assembled from cardstock patterns). While this part of the program is not exactly consumable - you could use the various components again - the components do get a workout. If you are expecting to use the program with another child, you'll want to save these items and covering them with clear contact paper to preserve them would also be a good idea. The program includes the Teacher's Manual, the Student Activity Book, the 28 Readers, and the Materials Packet.

    We sell additional Student Activity Books, Reader Sets, and Material Packets so you can use the program with a second student. Well-known children's literature (Read-Aloud Library) is suggested each week, so at the same time your child is learning phonics, he is also learning other important reading skills such as literal recall, comprehension, predicting outcome, and drawing conclusions. These books are an integral part of the program and the Student Activity Book relies on them. Although usually available at the local library, for your convenience we also sell them. They are listed in order of use. Although this program focuses on first grade skills, it would be possible to use this program with a "ready" kindergartner. It would also work well with a slightly older child who is still a just-getting-started reader. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 010088
    ISBN: 9780824968205
    Retail: $14.99
    Rainbow Price: $10.95

    Creativity through art experiences enhance development and learning in young children. Most of us manage some sort of early art experiences, but, with so many time constraints, my attempts certainly lack originality. The projects in this book provide a wide variety of art experiences which were specifically chosen to enhance such skills as eye-hand coordination, small muscle development, problem solving, and decision making. They use basic materials we probably already have around. A whole section of recipes is provided to make pastes, clays, doughs and paints. Each activity is well-presented, making it super-easy to use. Instructions are amplified with generous illustrations. Basic instructions are supplemented with "More Art Fun" suggestions should we have the desire and time to extend the activity. Most projects require a minimum of direction and allow for a lot of creativity on the child's part. There are over 80 art projects divided into sections titled Glue, Paper, Paint, Clay & Dough, Markers, Crayons and Recycled & Found Art. You can skip around, pick and choose and pull out a fun-to-do art activity according to your mood, time or supplies on hand. This will make it a whole lot easier for me to look like an inspired mom!

  • Item #: 000846
    ISBN: 9780880620741
    Retail: $12.00
    Rainbow Price: $8.95

    A set of three well-written, helpful books by Dr. Beechick. A Home Start in Reading is chock-full of no-nonsense advice for teaching your child to read. Dr. Beechick includes a phonics system, chart, advice on dealing with those “messy” phonics problems and sight words, what to do “after” phonics, and suggestions for teaching spelling. A wealth of hints and helps packed in 32 pages. In A Strong Start in Language, Dr. Beechick explains an easy-to-use, natural method for teaching a child to write. Sample lessons are provided as a starting point. Discover Dr. Beechick’s “powerful, real-life, home method” for teaching your child to go beyond mere memorization to thinking mathematically in An Easy Start in Arithmetic. Includes teaching ideas, games and activities.

  • Item #: 067716
    ISBN: 9780890519431
    Retail: $29.99
    Rainbow Price: $22.50

    Phonics instruction integrated with Bible stories and verses. Is a well-done program with these characteristics exactly what you're looking for? Master Books has introduced an easy-to-use program with straight-forward lessons and little prep for the teacher. Starting with letter recognition it proceeds through short vowels, long vowels, and some digraphs. Both letter sounds and printing letter strokes are taught.

    Organization is not typical (N, D, A, T, S, P). The accompanying narratives are in biblical chronological order, however. Daily lessons introduce letters with a biblical narrative (N is for nothing, none, not even a bit! Genesis 1:1-2) and a Bible verse. The lesson/narrative is scripted for the teacher and includes questions for the student, finger tracing, listening, identifying words with the letter sound, and reading practice followed by a worksheet for the student to complete. Bonus (optional) activities are provided to use as needed and time permits. Introductory material for the teacher includes general instruction, a writing readiness assessment, sight words for each lesson, helpful hints for teaching the lessons, a materials list, a daily lesson schedule (5 days a week for 18 weeks), and a progress chart. There are periodic reviews.

    This is a one semester course for either Kindergarten or First Grade. It seems like the publisher may be planning a sequel but if not this is an excellent standalone and will get your student off to a good start. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 064965
    ISBN: 9781457538094
    Retail: $24.99
    Rainbow Price: $23.95

       Take a different approach to teaching phonics and reading with your students. The Stretch & Catch Method can help children learn to read in 10 minutes a day. Whether you are teaching your children at home or they need extra help with their classroom learning, this method is easy and can be a tremendous help.

      The instructions for employing the Stretch & Catch Method are presented in a systematic fashion, so that anyone can use it. Developed by Amanda McNamara Lowe, her goal is to help all children learn to read. To learn to read, children must understand how words work. Stretch & Catch will help them see patterns in words, sound out the words, hear the sounds, feel the sounds, and use their fingers to “catch” the sounds.

      There are nine chapters in the book; chapter one is the explanation, preparation, and assessment portion of the book. This chapter is very important to understanding the Stretch & Catch methodology, The Word List (TWL), daily reading and placement. Stretch & Catch is a technique that uses the fingers to represent word sounds – Stretch is sounding out the word by raising one finger at a time per sound, Catch is saying all the sounds together, quickly, while bringing the fingers into a fist. Example: Spelling the word ‘dot’ – say /d/ and raise the first finger, say /o/ and raise the second finger, say /t/ and raise the third finger; say the word fast and pull the three fingers into a fist. My example is a simplified explanation of the methodology, and there is a scripted dialogue to be used along with it (8 steps). The Word Lists (TWL) are five colored lists of high-frequency words that the student learns to identify, these words make up 50% to 60% of the child’s reading and must be mastered. TWL are found in chapters 3 through 7. Assessments for TWL are found in chapter one, but you won’t use them until the appropriate time. Daily Reading to and with your child is a very important part of this program. There are no designated readers, but the author suggests reading alphabet and ABC books for children who need to learn basic letter sounds (children beginning with chapter two of this book). Early reader books for children in chapters three through six of this book, fluent readers (children in chapters 7-9) can read anything of interest to them. Chapter One includes a vital assessment tool to help you determine where to begin in this program. For children who need to learn basic letter sounds, begin with chapter two. Others start with chapter three, where Stretch & Catch begins teaching letter patterns. The word ‘feature’ is used to refer to the spelling pattern(s) being introduced in each chapter – there are 26 features total. 

      Chapter Two teaches the basic alphabet sounds (feature 1) and instructions are given at the beginning of the chapter. The author suggests that you have index cards on which to write the letters (lowercase and uppercase on separate cards), consonants in one color and vowels in another. Spend one week per letter for children who are being introduced to letters and sounds, one per day for those who just need review. Each letter has a key word that will be associated with it throughout the lessons. Only short vowels are presented in chapters two and three.

      Chapter Three introduces the first TWL words (you will want to use index cards to write them on for practice), Daily Reading suggestions, explanation of short vowels using Stretch & Catch, and scripted templates for teaching ‘features’ 2 through 6. There are two templates, one that is adult-led and another for child-led. These are examples of how to teach the lessons included in the chapter. You will then find lessons (lists of words) to use within the template for teaching each day. This chapter also includes some optional lessons.

      Chapter Four focuses on beginning and ending blends (features 7-11), and chapter five is beginning and ending digraphs (features 12-13). These chapters follow the same format as chapter three: TWL words, Daily Reading suggestion, explanation of the features in the chapter, templates, lessons, and examples.

      Chapters 6-9 cover features 14-26, and at this point your child is no longer considered a beginning reader. Lessons become child-led and you (parent/teacher) are there to be a guide. Children will learn about silent e, common long vowels, diphthongs, and r-controlled vowel patterns. Each chapter includes the TWL words, Daily Reading suggestions, explanation of the ‘features,’ an optional template for introducing the ‘features,’ child-led templates, lessons, and examples.

      Children should be reading fluently upon completion of this book, and just 10 minutes a day! Lessons may take more than ten minutes a day in the beginning; but once the methodology is mastered, teacher and student will love the ease of doing a short lesson each day. The method is multi-sensory and repetitive, which helps children to commit things to memory. The more a child is exposed to letters, sounds, and words, the quicker they will be imprinted on the brain (memorized). This method works well with beginning readers, but can also help struggling readers. 137-pgs, p/b. ~ Donna     

  • Item #: 064820
    ISBN: 9781943122004
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $162.00

       Have you ever wanted to sit and soak in the wisdom of an expert in treating learning difficulties? As a parent or educational specialist, you know the children in your care are bright and capable, yet learning is hard for them. If you ever wondered if you can do more to help your struggling learner, this DVD series may have the answers you are seek.

      Designed for Special Ed teachers, literacy teachers, home-educators, tutors and others with a special interest to help children, Dianne Craft’s 10+ hour seminar series explains the brain research behind many learning glitches (disabilities), gives you the tools to identify processing glitches, and plan a program to correct blocked learning gates. She also provides effective strategies and lesson plans through the 9 sessions in this video seminar. Sessions include:

      Session 1: Identifying Your Child’s Processing Problems provides the foundational understanding of the four learning gates and signs of blocked learning gates. Right and Left Brain learning traits are also clarified. A 3-prong approach is provided to correct blocked learning gates.

      Session 2: Dysgraphia: When Writing is Painful discusses the signs of writing stress and compares it to a child who may appear lazy or uncooperative. Visual-Spatial problems are also explained before she expands on activities to correct dysgraphia. Mrs. Craft stresses that progress may be seen in as little as 3 months; however, a minimum of 6 months is necessary for full benefit. Includes step by step, Daily Writing “Eight” Exercise instructions and the daily lesson plan for struggling writer and speller.

      Session 3: Right Brain Paragraph and Composition Writing addresses the “loose thought patterns” experienced by children and teens who suffer with dysgraphia, ADD or Auditory Processing problems. A simple formula of baby steps, right brain webbing and modeling are easy to implement at home and have proven successful with reluctant, struggling writers. Includes directions for beginning, intermediate and advanced skill levels, along with writing tools for parent/teacher guidance.

      Session 4: Right Brain Math is dedicated to all the children who forget math from day to day. Teaching a “Plan B” for struggling math students, Mrs. Craft provides helpful, detailed information on right brain strategies for effective learning of math concepts. These strategies will work with any math curriculum. Includes math tutoring instructions.

      Session 5: Training Your Child’s Photographic Memory (for Spelling) provides a right brain teaching strategies that work for struggling spellers-regardless of brain dominance. Considered a “Plan B” for spellers, this DVD teaches a photographic memory method which may be valuable throughout life. Includes information to access a 1200 Most Commonly Used Words list.

      Session 6: Dyslexia and Other Reading Problems explores why reading is hard for some kids. With a focus on children at least 2 years behind in reading, Mrs. Craft explains the levels of processing problems, and differentiates dyslexia from visual and auditory processing disorders, and general reading dysfunctions. She then elaborates on the keys to correcting reading problems: Correct and Bypass. Includes daily lesson plans and a quick word recognition spelling test. Also, recommended for correction of reading problems are the Brain Integration Therapy Manual and Right Brain Phonics materials and basal readers.

      Session 7: Kids and Teenagers with Focus/Attention Issues takes a fascinating look at how our diet and antibiotic use may appear as symptoms of sensory dysfunction and focus/attention issues. She also explores the big question- “Is it character or chemistry?” and provides simple checklists of behavioral and physical characteristics. Dietary changes and nutritional supplementation recommendations are recommended.

      Session 8: Auditory Process Problems reviews common myths before teaching the characteristics that impact reading, spelling and math. Covering common physical causes (allergies, nutritional deficiencies), Mrs. Craft shares ways to bypass and correct auditory channels issues at home.

      Session 9: Autism, Asperger’s and Sensory Processing Problems looks at the increasing prevalence of autism in the U.S., traditional treatment and causation theories. Mrs. Craft recommends a 3-pronged approach to unlock the abilities of Autistic children, with a focus on nutrition in this session. She provides the foundational knowledge you need to identify, treat and restore the underlying biochemical disorder that may cause or exacerbate autistic symptoms. 

      Overall, this series is tremendously beneficial for parents and educators alike. There are a couple of disappointments. First, the DVDs are recordings of workshop sessions presented to a large group. Therefore, some graphics are difficult to see or have been updated to fit the DVD presentation. On one occasion, Mrs. Craft and her assistant are showing how to do the Circle Eight Exercises correctly and are partially blocked by the podium. The accompanying Study Guide is jam-packed with helpful information; however, at times is difficult to follow along with the presentations. As my colleagues and I viewed the videos, we elected to take notes during the sessions and read the study guide after the session. While there is no Biblical teaching, Mrs. Craft makes comments about our children being “God-made”, the value of prayer in helping our struggling learners and “God as our Supreme Being.” DVDs range from 45-90 minutes. CEUs or course completion certifications are also available. ~ Deanne

  • Item #: 064476
    ISBN: 9781465435484
    Retail: $9.99
    Rainbow Price: $7.50

       Teaching your child the basics of music can be daunting, especially if you don’t play yourself. This updated, colorful approach to the classic recorder program makes it easy to teach your child the fundamentals of music theory as well as playing technique specifically for the recorder. You’ll be able to encourage an early interest in music just by reading the book to younger students, or letting them go at it themselves. 64 pg, hc. – Laura

  • Item #: 059965
    ISBN: 9780990325741
    Retail: $290.35
    Rainbow Price: $269.95

      Lots of children's books to read together? Check. Fun themes for every week? Check. Designed specifically for homeschoolers? Check. Bible-based? Check. Easy to use? Check. All-inclusive? Check, again. Obviously, this program has it all! I took one look at this program and fell in love. I currently have five children, two not yet in Kindergarten, so I'm in the thick of homeschooling these early learning years myself! I opened the Kindergarten Semester 1 Teacher's Binder and was immediately impressed with its usability and attractiveness, for both teacher and student.

      This program is based on a 36 week school year, with planned activities for four days each week and one open day for either catch up or activities of your choice. Subjects include Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Physical Development and Fitness, Fine Arts, and Character Development/Bible, and the scope and sequence appears to be traditional in terms of pacing. The program is heavily literature-based, which I love, and my kids love! You can choose to either check the books out of the library or purchase some or all of the titles. The Teacher's Binders include all lesson plans and a single copy of all student pages 3-hole punched for easy removability. Additional student workbooks (200+ pages per semester) can be purchased either in a binder or as refill pages.

      When you first open the Teacher's Binder, you will find an overview chart that shows the months and the themes for each week. Notes are given for teaching procedures, skills that will be acquired, organization and planning, using the daily lesson plans, daily routines, pledges and songs, etc. Then you get to the weekly lessons. Each week starts with a page showing the theme, the required literature, additional literature, and a Bible verse that pertains to the theme. Turning the page gives you the lesson plans by day, starting with skills to be learned in the lesson, a list of required materials, and then delving into step-by-step direction for each subject covered that day. The plans are very clean and almost scripted, so it's easy for anyone to just pick up and do once required materials have been gathered.

      Worksheets used for the lesson follow the teaching plans. The worksheets are clean, attractive, and inviting. Most lessons have one worksheet, some have a couple. You can start days off with prayers or pledges, and then go into calendar activities which include knowing what day it is today, yesterday, and tomorrow, marking off days on the calendar, counting up to today's date, singing songs to learn days of the week or months of the year, the weather outside, using patterns, etc. Next are subject-specific assignments for each day, laid out with bullet points. Math activities usually include a mix of hands-on activities and a simple workbook page. You read a book with your child every day, and the Teacher's Manual includes questions for discussion. Each day includes other activities that utilize drawing, writing, arts & crafts, memorizing, physical fun, singing songs, nature walks and much more.

      In the back of each binder, you'll find an appendix containing flashcard templates, rhymes and songs, recipes, materials used (shown with general weekly materials, and broken down for each week - more convenient than looking at each day!), a literature list, and more.

       Bundles include the Semesters Teacher’s Binder, a 12-month blank calendar, several sets of flashcards, games, and several other manipulative resources.  You can purchase the Full Year Bundle which includes the teacher’s manuals for both semesters and the other resources listed above, or purchase a Semester Bundle which includes one teacher’s manual and resources listed above used for that semester. Teacher’s Manuals include all the plans and one set of student pages.

      All in all, this solid program gets a thumbs-up from me! It is so user-friendly, covers a full range of great concepts and skills, ensures lots of quality and fun school-time with your young children, and introduces you to many engaging children's books. ~ Megan

  • 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 #: 053963
    ISBN: 9781427654441
    Retail: $34.95
    Rainbow Price: $29.95

    Teaching your child to read can sometimes be a challenge—so let the Reading Game lend a hand! If your child likes to be read to, is familiar with letters, and shows interest in storytime by pretending to read or wants words pointed out while reading – then you are ready for this game. This award winning game is by Kenneth Hodkinson, the author of the Wordly Wise program. This game introduces children to 180 sight words and helps them memorize and remember those words through playing a simple memory game. The sight words found in this game are taken from the Dolch Word List for PK through 1st and from "100 most commonly used English words from the Reading Teacher's Book of Lists by Fry". This game can even be used in classroom or tutoring situations since it is written to meet Common Core Reading Standards for Literature and Informational Text for Kindergarten and 1st grades.

    So, how easy is it? There are six readers that use 30 words each. There are 60 word cards (two of each word) that correspond to each book. Place ten cards (two each of five words that are listed in the Rules and Teacher's Guide) face down on the table. Two players take turns flipping the cards over until one gets a match. When a match is made, the player says the word several times in a clear voice. Do this until all five words have their match, then shuffle and play again. Play with the first set of five words until the child can read all five of them without difficulty. Repeat this same process with the next list of five words. Children are asked to read test sentences after every other word group in order to keep all the words fresh. After going through all 30 words, the child is then ready to read the story book. Follow this same procedure for the words for each of the six storybooks. Words from previous books are used along with new words in subsequent stories.

    The six storybooks found in the game are very simple to read. They are all printed in lower case letters except for the "I" and there is no punctuation. Children will know that it is the end of a sentence simply because the line ends, and breaks between sentences indicate pauses. The Reading Game includes all six storybooks and six decks of corresponding word cards (60 each) along with a Rules and Teacher's Guide. Downloadable worksheets are available at the publisher's website (thereadinggame.com) – pre/post sight word assessments, test sentence worksheets, class recording sheets for the assessments and test sentences.

    You will still want to do phonics and there is a short section of teacher's guide devoted to implementing phonics in with the material found in the game. Children will encounter sight words in everything they read, and this game will enable them to tackle some of that reading with more confidence. – Donna

  • Item #: 039066
    ISBN: 9781886941038
    Retail: $18.95
    Rainbow Price: $13.95

    “A practical plan for school success” is the subtitle of this workbook, and that’s exactly what it is! The title may lead you to believe that it is merely a workbook on “how to study,” but really, it is a comprehensive book on “how to learn” through the use of different skills and strategies. Each of the nine chapters dedicates itself to teaching your child a different strategy, including organizational skills, learning style strategies, communication, improving reading comprehension, note-taking, memorization, test-taking, how to tackle homework, and stress management. The pages within each chapter contain hands-on exercises that will get you moving and implementing these strategies. There are also practical “mini-quizzes” that will help you evaluate what your strengths and weaknesses are. Then the rest of the chapter is full of forms, checklists, tips, and mock tests and assignments to help you master these strategies. Answer key, instructor lesson plan, and certificate of achievement are all included in the back of this reproducible workbook. This item would be helpful for any student planning on taking high school or junior college courses before heading off to college! Pb, 158 pgs. – elise

  • Item #: 012264
    ISBN: 9780913063026
    Retail: $27.95
    Rainbow Price: $20.95

    Originally developed as a software package, the success of this simple, phonetically-based program encouraged the publication of The Reading Lesson book. The Reading Lesson is broken into 20 lessons, intended to be done side-by-side with a parent or teacher. A correlating Reading Lesson CD-ROM is available from the publisher, which features animations, audio and simple games. However, the book can be used on its own, and at this time the book is the only component we are offering.

    Lessons introduce and use specific letters and sounds. The entire alphabet is not taught at the beginning, nor is it taught in order. Letters and sounds are introduced in groups which can be used to read the corresponding simple stories. For example, Lesson One introduces c, o, s, a and t while Lesson Two features m, d and r. Each lesson contains information for the parent or teacher, words, exercises and short stories. The pacing of the lessons will depend on the child's age, and a suggested number of pages per day is provided. The authors suggest spending no more than 15 minutes on a lesson each day, so as to not exceed the child's attention span. Each page is written to both student and teacher, with instructions in small print at the top. Where letters, words, or sentences are given, small bars underneath the letters remind the reader to focus on one sound at a time, as they point at the letter (these bars disappear towards the end of the book). Gradually (with the parent modeling) the student will start to blend the sounds and read the words. The book teaches most phonetic sounds and blends; however, there are several that might be taught specificially in another course that are designated as "sight words" in this course. Only lowercase letters are taught until the 11th lesson, when several capital letters that look similar to their lowercase counterparts are introduced ('I' is also introduced here, with an explanation on its slightly different look). Other topics, such as the suffix "-ing",and apostrophes are also introduced as they are necessary, but are not covered in a great amount of depth. The emphasis here is to give the child the skills to decode and read words, so that they will "graduate" from the book with a 2nd-grade reading level. With the straightforward presentation, simple effective activities and reinforcement, this book makes the task do-able for student and teacher. Please note that there are several other companion products that are available from the publisher. To preview these, please check out www.readinglesson.com. - Jess

  • Item #: 009579
    ISBN: 9780684853673
    Retail: $19.99
    Rainbow Price: $14.25

    Using the Phono-Graphix system presented in this book will enable you to "teach your child to read in one-tenth the time of phonics with a 100 percent success rate." That's quite a claim! Not only that, but "research conducted on this method reveals it to be the most effective remedial program available, bringing previously failed readers, 40 percent of whom had been previously diagnosed with learning disabilities, to grade level in only twelve sessions." By now you're asking, "What is it?" and "How is this method different from phonics?" The major difference is that, instead of teaching that letters "say" or "make this sound," Phono-Graphix begins with the premise that letters and letter combinations are codes that represent or stand for a sound. This is an important distinction and, if you still have an open mind, one that makes sense. As soon as you teach that "ai" says "a," you have to allow for all the exceptions to this rule. What about "ai" in "again," "said," "certain," or "mountain"? Wouldn't it be better to present "ai" as a code that could stand for different sounds in different words? In the same way that a round shape could stand for either a ball or a circle, letter combinations can stand for more than one sound. Children readily accept this. They also accept that two symbols in concert (a square and a triangle, for example) can stand for something altogether different, like a house, when the triangle is placed atop the square. Another example the author uses is the case where different letter combinations can make the same sound ("ee," "ea," "y"). They showed children pictures of different flowers. In each case, when asked what the picture showed, the children responded, "a flower." All agreed that some things can look different but still have the same name.

    Before beginning the program, you will administer pre-tests to try and pinpoint your child's skill level. However, regardless of score, the author recommends doing all the lessons. The first instructional chapter teaches the "Basic Code." Briefly, the method teaches the sounds that letters and letter combinations stand for. You do not teach letter names, but the correspondence between sounds and sound pictures. Children also learn that spoken words are made up of sounds. They learn that written words are formed by sound pictures (letters and letter combinations) that represent sounds in words. Words are read and written from left to right. They also must be able to "break up" spoken words into the individual sounds and, conversely, to blend the sounds together in words. So begins this unique instruction. Further chapters address more complex letter constructs and multisyllabic words. As noted by Kathy von Duyke in The Big Book of Home Learning (Volume 2), not much attention is given to spelling. The book is basically a how-to-read method that you can use for both beginning and remedial readers, regardless of age.

  • Item #: 000905
    ISBN: 9780974218199
    Retail: $24.95
    Rainbow Price: $23.95

    This course would have been exactly what I was looking for several years ago when my own homeschoolers reached their teen years.  Instead of a comprehensive life skills preparation such as author Barbara Frank designed for her own children and now makes available to all homeschoolers, we had a hit and miss approach - a personal finance class here, some marriage and family reading there, with learning how to balance a checkbook thrown in for good measure.

      Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers is a curriculum that teaches the skills and values that teenagers need in the adult world.  Using a well-defined project approach, students research a place to live, figure out health insurance, come to understand credit and receive an introduction to basics like buying a car and setting up a budget. An attitude of prudence is encouraged with a stated goal of minimizing debt. The author also reviews concepts like getting along with family, friends, coworkers, and clients, finding a spouse, and living one's values - in other words applying the principles you've been teaching them since they were small. Now in its 3rd edition, this program features updates such as: new sections on borrowing money and bank accounts (each with three new projects), updates to the Financial Freedom Project and the Health Insurance Project (to reflect changes such as the Affordable Care Act), and a new section called "Work or College" to help you evaluate whether your teenager should pursue college and how to research potential careers.

      The book begins with the new "Work or College?" section to help you and your child evaluate the possibilities of each. Depending on which direction you are leaning, two different paths through the book's material are provided. Next is an excellent, annotated reading list, divided by topic. The Projects section follows. Starting with background information, each project continues with research and reading assignments.  These assignments are broken down into bite-sized pieces and often include the completion of various charts. Although the book is reproducible only for additional students in your family, they would be easy to replicate on any basic computer spreadsheet. Most projects include suggestions for further study and ways that parents can personalize the project by sharing from their own experience.

      Although a family could use one book for several children if each prepared his own notebook, the manual is so full of valuable information and checklists that around our house we would be much more comfortable with each student having his own copy. I think my "homeschooled" college students would profit from going through this course during summer break.  Revised and expanded; 160 pgs. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 010992
    ISBN: 9781933339009
    Retail: $17.95
    Rainbow Price: $11.35
    In the quest to cover a little of everything from a particular time period AND present it at a level that a younger child can understand, most elementary history texts are, well, probably just a bit lacking in the exciting and shall we say “interesting” department. At least, I found it as such when I was much younger, although it led me to do a lot of self-reading to complete the picture in the areas that interested me. Susan Wise Bauer attempts to remedy this difficulty in presenting a chronological history to the younger set using a classical approach to history. The Story of the World is structured around a text and a curriculum guide/activity book that serve as a springboard for your futher history explorations. The readings in the text provide a background of the time period covered, augmented by the use of the guide, which contains review questions, suggestions for supplemental readings, appropriate literature selections, and also map activities, coloring pages, as well as an abundance of projects that span history, art, and science that are sure to excite the student.

    The text itself serves as the starting point and backbone of each unit. Each chapter covers a particular time period, and is placed in chronological order. For example, in Volume One: Ancient Times, Chapter One begins with “The Earliest People” followed by chapters detailing periods of Egyptian, Sumarian, Jewish, Babylonian, Assyrian, Indian, Chinese, African, Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, Persian, Native American, Roman, Christian, Celt, and Barbarian history. The book goes in strictly chronological order, so one time period of a civilization will be covered, and then a different civilization may be covered, returning to another era of the first civilization later, to encompass a significant historical event of that civilization. Each chapter is further split into smaller, more bite-sized amounts that lend themselves well to a younger attention span. The chapters are presented at a level they will understand, but at the same time, find fairly absorbing. History is presented in more of a story-type format that they will appreciate, and the author emphasizes that the book is not intended to give a complete overview of the time period, but rather to give the student a chronological order of major events and an appreciation and understanding of different cultures while presenting it in a way that will foster an enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject matter. For example, while not every ruler of a civilization may be named, along with major accomplishments, an overview of the period highlighting important events and rulers, along with details of how the people in the civilizations lived comprise the short chapters. Mythical stories as well as historical fiction-type passages about young children from different cultures are woven into the narrative to stimulate further interest. These almost story-type chapters are meant to be read aloud to younger children, or those with reading difficulty, while good readers and older children can read or take turns reading the chapters aloud.

    When a chapter has been completely read, you and the students then turn to the curriculum manual/actvitiy guide. At the beginning of each chapter in the guide, corresponding page references are given from four recommended supplements Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World, The Usborne Book of World History, and the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History. These selections further flesh out the history lessons, particularly for those periods or civilizations where less supplemental reading is available. When all the chapter reading has been accomplished, the next order of business are the reading comprehension-type review questions for each chapter section. Following the questions, the student is asked to summarize the chapter in a few sentences. The author again stresses that important facts be included in this narrative, but not necessarily every single one. A few sample narrations are also supplied for each section. The student’s narrative is then written, illustrated with his/her favorite part of the lesson. The narratives can be collected and put into a loose-leaf binder, to create the student’s own world history. After these activities have been completed, a list of readings chosen to supplement and complement the history lesson are supplied, as well as a following list of corresponding literature suggestions to further flesh out the lesson, with books telling stories from that era. Author, publisher, copyright date, and a sentence summary of each book are given for ease in locating the book.

    Now for some real hands-on work! The activities commence with “Map Work,” where a map of the appropriate area is supplied, and the student identifies and marks pertinent areas, routes, and features. The geography section is normally followed by a coloring page, highlighting some aspect of the history lesson, or some other word activity. Finally, the chapter closes with a selection of projects to do to really “get into” the featured civilization or time period. These may be arts, crafts, writing, or science projects, or just fun supplemental activities. Most require only common household supplies and art supplies such as paints & paintbrushes, boxes, newspaper and waxed paper, self-drying clay, etc. Several projects are provided for each chapter, covering a wide range of activities. These could include anything from building your own hut to making your own cunieform tablets, mummifying a chicken, brick-making, baking an African or Greek feast, purple dye, an erupting volcano, an olympic wreath, a Native American sand painting, a Roman chariot, making paper, and LOTS more. When you’ve covered the chapter content as much as is desired, move on.

    While the breadth of activities and readings may seem overwhelming or time-consuming, keep in mind that not every suggested book needs to be read, and not every single project needs to be completed. (But Mom, can’t we embalm the chicken today?) Spend as much time in an era as suits the students, pacing yourself to cover everything that is of interest. The structure of the curriculum makes it especially easy and enjoyable to use with several children in this age range, although I’m sure the older kids would love to get into it too!

    Volume One was revised in 2006 and now features more illustrations, maps, several timelines and additional parent/teacher notes. The text is paperback, and the Curriculum Guide/Activity Book is a bound paperback. - Jess

  • Item #: 046829
    ISBN: 9780982537701
    Retail: $46.95
    Rainbow Price: $43.95

    A cursory glance through this curriculum elicits several descriptive words: detail, depth, creativity, and flexibility. This course combines a textual history of maps and map-making with innumerable activities. Through hand-drawn and edible maps, star charts and video documentaries, games and watercolors, students will see the world portrayed not only as an atlas shows it but also in a way that can't be contained between the covers of a book. There are 60 pages of historical readings (well illustrated with photos, maps, and drawings) which chronicle exploration and mapping from the time of the earliest maps through the 1800s. Accompanying these readings are 90 pages of drawing lessons that guide students step-by-step through freehand drawings of islands, countries, continents, and other geographic locales. There are also over 100 pages of supplemental activities including review worksheets, games, art and craft activities, links to online videos (map projections, virtual tours of globe factories, bios of explorers, etc.), and quizzes. Additional resources supplied with the book are DVDs that contain actual drawing lessons for the map drawing activities and a printable PDF version of the curriculum. While the drawing lessons don't have you labeling every single island, river, or mountain on the planet, the detail of the coastlines, borders, major cities, and main geographic features is such that you should be well prepared for the final project: drawing your own map of the world. Colorful and distinct, this curriculum has enough variance for both the eager and reticent cartographer.

  • Item #: 044599
    ISBN: 9780980100525
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $29.00

    What do crows, peacocks, and bird nest soup have in common? They're just a few of the fun and fascinating things that your student will WANT to write about. Within its 24 lessons (a year's worth) it covers TWSS Units 1-7 (taking notes, summarizing narrative stories, writing from pictures, mini-research report, and creative writing) and several stylististic elements. Teacher prep is non-existent – you only need to read through the lessons with your student and be prepared to be "wowed" by their writing (and, of course, do a little evaluating). Although your student will want to make a final portfolio copy of their writing assignments, all the preliminary work – outlines, brainstorming charts, along with checklists – are provided in the consumable, 159-page spiral-bound text. Appendices include: banned words & prepositions and substitutes, -ly words. The purchaser may download an optional accompanying teacher e-book from the publisher's website. ~ Janice



  • Item #: 059250
    ISBN: 9781892427526
    Retail: $69.95
    Rainbow Price: $51.95

    Have you ever stopped to realize that a comprehensive understanding of the earth, its structure, and its inhabitants are a necessary foundation for interacting meaningfully with our increasingly global-minded world? Taking an overview approach, the North Star Geography course covers geography skills (reading maps, using geographic tools, cartography, surveying, and navigation), physical geography (geology, meteorology, oceanography, ecology, hydrology, and astronomy), and human geography (sociology, culture, religion, transportation, agriculture, government, and economics). Bright Ideas Press and world geography – what a great idea! Student Reader plus Companion Guide CD-ROM (activities: maps, hands-on, research options, quizzes/tests) – what a great idea! Quality content, Biblical worldview, and user-friendliness all rolled up into one package – what a great idea!

    Obviously, the Student Reader is the heart of the course. Each of the sixteen lessons provides 15-20 pages of reading text, full-color illustrations, photos, sidebar articles, and maps. Lessons are divided into teaching segments which are both highly readable and interesting. The organization lends itself to flexibility, and the course could be done over one year (two weeks per lesson), two years (four weeks per lesson), or even one semester (one week per lesson – a bare bones approach). Vocabulary words are in bold with definitions provided in the glossary at the end of the text. The Reader concludes with a reference list that provides options for further study.

    The accompanying Companion Guide CD-ROM (pdf files) provides both basic and "extra" activities in addition to all content from the Reader. It's these pdf files that will allow you to tailor the course for high school, for junior high, or for a combination of ages. Families may make photocopies or print pages as needed, but classrooms and co-ops should contact the publisher for a multiple-use license. Depending on the course time-frame you choose, you will probably have to do some selection of activities, as there is a wealth provided.

    • • Hands-On Activities – there is lots of variety here – some short and simple, some more involved. Materials lists are provided when necessary (and tend to be easy-to-get items).
    • • Build Your Own Atlas – there's a segment for each lesson that includes labeling outline maps, completing fact files, and creating a set of political, physical, and thematic maps. Outline maps are provided but a good atlas as a reference is helpful (i.e. Wondermaps or Atlas of World Geography).
    • • Note-Taking Pages – each lesson has a set of 10 questions taken from the text that serve as lesson review and a study guide for the quizzes.
    • • Memorization Lists – a list of 198 countries, 70 regions and physical features to learn – roughly 16 items per lesson.
    • • Research Questions – a set of questions for each continent which encourage the student to conduct his own research (answers included).
    • • Quizzes and Tests – quizzes for each lesson (based on note-taking questions and map work). A final exam includes questions taken from all 16 of the lessons (answer keys and grading rubrics included).
    • • Graphic Organizers - can be used for all types of studies – world/continent, country, culture, regional geography, and government fact files.

    Homeschool geography courses have tended to be research frameworks that can be used by multi-age students and over several years. While having lots of advantages for families they require planning, preparation, and, often, outside resources. North Star takes a different approach providing a very solid base of textual information but giving lots of options for additional activities and research. It provides all necessary forms and pages, requiring only a good world atlas to accompany the course. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 001678
    ISBN: 9781883790257
    Retail: $27.95
    Rainbow Price: $23.95

    If conventional phonics is not working with your child, or if phonics instruction is turning your "eager to read-er" into a "do we have to?" reader, here's an approach you should try. Based on techniques used in the Reading Recovery program and on observations of methods used by "natural" readers (children who learn to read at young ages despite no formal instruction), this approach takes a middle road between phonics and "sight reading." It is designed to be used one-on-one in a tutoring situation – not in a classroom environment – so it works very well in a home school. The first ingredient is reading, reading, reading to your young child. Predictable readers are used heavily in beginning instruction so that the child can begin to "read" successfully without knowing all of the rules, and can begin to recognize letter-sound correlations in familiar words. Some separate phonics instruction is done as part of the lesson. Initially, letter sounds are taught. From there, instruction depends on the previous day's experience. However, most of the phonics instruction is done within the context of reading and writing about real stories in real books. Phonics rules are not learned in any set sequence, but as the need to use them arises. Books are reread until mastered, then rotated out, with a book on the "cutting edge" of the child's ability added to the mix. A list of recommended children's books is included.

    The author is no stranger to the "great debate" on reading instruction. He has sixteen years of experience teaching in both public and private schools and, as headmaster of a Christian school, oversaw a home education program in which he worked with parents teaching their children to read. He realizes the strong preference homeschoolers have for phonics, but he makes a great case for considering a less "pure" approach. I do think this book is worth reading. After reading it, I realized that my children all learned a little this way, despite my attempts to teach them strictly phonetically. When Mark was learning to read, he just wouldn't wait for me to slowly make it through our phonics program. Armed with the essential basics, he wanted to read, and proceeded to do so; reading and rereading familiar books until they were mastered, demanding explanations of unfamiliar constructs as he went, and then applying this knowledge the next time he encountered a similar phonetic construct. All this from a child who seemed almost dense to me (compared with his older sisters) when using a strictly phonetic method. On reflection, I think he might have done much better from the start if I'd read this book and employed some of these methods. While not for everyone, and certainly not for those of you who won't even consider less than "pure" phonics, I'm hoping this will help with children who may "fall through the cracks" using a traditional phonics approach.

  • Item #: 049348
    Retail: $34.95
    Rainbow Price: $32.95

    From the author of Latin Centered Curriculum (Memoria Press), this comprehensive K-12 resource for memorization, copywork, and dictation provides a vast array of memorization material in all academic areas, as well as Latin and Greek. Weighing in at a hefty 450 plus pages, this book provides you ample choices for memory work, and has been designed for use with any classical curriculum or simply as a handy reference for home or school. At first glance, the sheer size of this book appears to be overwhelming. However, the author reminds us this book has been created to provide 13 years worth of memorization options and we simply integrate what we feel is the best selection.

    Beginning with the importance of memorizing, this detailed book takes you through the steps of how to memorize and includes general principles to make memory work easier; you are then set free to select memorization selections from a vast array of subject areas. Read on for more details! The Latin chapter is divided into six parts: Grammar and Vocabulary; Proverbs; Poetry and Prose; Scripture; Prayers; and Hymns and Carols. The first three sections contain mostly secular material, while the last three are religious. The Greek chapter is divided into five sections: Grammar and Vocabulary; Proverbs; Poetry and Prose; Scripture; and Prayers and Hymns. These selections are drawn from both classical and ecclesiastical Greek, and the author has also included some background information on Easter Christian traditions. Translations are provided throughout. The Arithmetic and Mathematics chapter includes an extensive resource selection, including (but not limited to): addition/subtraction fact families, properties and orders, prime numbers, multiplication table, Euclid's Definitions and Common Notions, and the Pythagorean Theorem. The Grammar and Composition chapter is designed to support the study of classical languages and to reinforce principles taught in your individual writing program. It includes grammar rhymes, grammar rules, and 100 commonly misspelled words. The Literature chapter contains five sections: Literary facts and lists; Sayings, Proverbs, and Famous Quotations, Teaching Rhymes, Poetry and dramatic speeches from Shakespeare's plays. The Religion chapter contains six sections: Scripture, Prayers, Catechism, Poetry, Hymns and Carols. Using the King James Version of the Bible, the religious selections include material drawn from the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions. The Geography chapter contains a large number of lists from both a World and US Geography perspective. The World History chapter covers events and personalities from around the globe, with the emphasis on those topics of enduring importance. Please note: dating encompasses an old earth perspective, dating back to 35,000 BC. The United States History and Civics chapter stresses key dates in American history, as well as the founding documents of our nation. Patriotic songs, verse and oratory are also included. The Natural Sciences chapter brings together lists and mnemonics for basic information in the natural sciences and is written primarily for elementary and middle school. It is best if the child memorizes material in this chapter, as it is encountered in their course of studies in the science curriculum of your choice. Extensive reference charts are found at the end of the book. These are meant for quick reference in Latin and Greek and are not meant to replace a Latin or Greek curriculum. They are, however, a good basis for Latin and Greek recitation.

    As you can see, this extensive resource book provides ample opportunities for memorization success. I was impressed with the extensive selection in each academic area, and believe this truly will be a valuable resource for families who desire to incorporate memorization from the classical perspective. 450 pgs, sc. ~ Deanne

  • Item #: 023626
    ISBN: 9780545433013
    Retail: $12.99
    Rainbow Price: $9.95

    Teaching children how to plan their day is a good start to creating independent time management, a skill that will benefit kids for life. This set contains 5 daily schedule charts labeled Monday-Friday in vibrant colors on glossy white posterboard, and another one that reads "Special Day." 3 columns, left to write, show __:__, a clock face, and a space to write the event (or lesson, appointment, subject, break time, lunch, sports, etc.), and there are 8 rows total. Use these in a home or classroom to share expectations with your learners. Wipeable with dry-erase markers. Put one in each child's room and let them keep track of their schedules and school work. I love the bright colors like magenta and lime green! 18 x 24" ~ Sara

  • Item #: 024326
    ISBN: 9781885942319
    Retail: $29.95
    Rainbow Price: $23.95
    For everyone out there who loves English from the Roots Up, here is another dose! This book introduces 100 new root words - 67 Latin and 33 Greek - with English derivatives for you to teach to your students. Because these words are a little more advanced than those in the first volume, the authors encourage you to complete the first volume before beginning this one. Having used the first volume provides students with a firm foundation for beginning this more advanced study, although if you want to you can begin here. This sequel is extremely similar in appearance to its predecessor. - Melissa
  • Item #: 005380
    ISBN: 9781570578083
    Retail: $13.99
    Rainbow Price: $9.95

    Painlessly teach your child the meaning of money with these two easy games. Vital mathematical concepts such as: addition, subtraction, multiplication, place value, making change, budgeting, and money management are taught and practiced. Both games ("Bill Maker" and "Bill Breaker") are fun and fast-paced, with two players competing. In "Bill Maker" your goal is to be the first player to accumulate one $100 bill. Play money is included in 1's, 5's, 10's, 20's, 50's, and 100's. Players are constantly exchanging smaller bills for larger ones until that winning $100 is obtained.

    "Bill Breaker" deals more with real life and is slightly more advanced. A parents' pay check may seem like big bucks to a small child, but where does it all go? This game uses moneywise kids markers representing some of the costly expenses and necessities of life (not realistically priced, of course!) such as taxes, clothing, food, medical care, transportation, and housing. Players constantly take the risk of picking up a financial explosion that will really blow a hole in their savings. The first player with all six markers and $100 wins. - Megan

  • Item #: 001838
    ISBN: 9780977468515
    Retail: $29.00
    Rainbow Price: $23.49

    Connie Schenkelberg has put together a program, the likes of which we have not seen before. Its basic premise is that grammar instruction, taught in isolation, does little to improve students' writing levels. Therefore, the author has employed a method (taught to her by a college professor) that teaches students grammar through writing. As the author defines her course, it is "grammar instruction that improves students' reading, writing, and listening skills". She has 14 years of teaching experience and has used this method with her public-school students and in her own home school, apparently with great success.

    The author's personality comes through in the chatty style of this very teacher-friendly manual. Connie tells you how to present each new skill or pattern, supplying you with reproducible worksheets, daily lesson plans, and an answer key. She estimates that daily instruction will take about 15 minutes of your time, and another 15 minutes for the student to work independently on reinforcement exercises. Basically, students should both learn grammar and improve their writing skills by using this course. Starting from the simplest sentence construction (noun, verb), increasingly complex structures are studied and practiced in writing exercises. The instruction received here should expand the student's writing repertoires, resulting in improvement in all types of writing, both expository and creative. Diagramming is integrated into the course and is used as a visual tool in understanding the syntax of sentences as their structures become more complex. While some children (especially ones who read extensively from well-written books) may develop these writing skills on their own, most would benefit from the approach in this course. This is "grammar with a purpose." The goal of grammar instruction should be to improve writing - not just to learn how to dissect sentences. I can readily see how teaching grammar via this method would produce tangible results.