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You Can Make It

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Items 1 - 30 of 540
  • Item #: 048859
    ISBN: 9780975494219
    Retail: $15.00
    Rainbow Price: $11.95

    Fascinating facts about wildlife, coupled with drawing instruction for the beginning nature journalist, make this a perfect supplement to the Handbook of Nature Study or other nature instructional text. Each two- or four-page spread is devoted to a different animal and contains: a good amount of interesting information about the animal; one or more artist-rendered sketches; and step-by-step drawing instructions to sketch the animal yourself. The book was written and illustrated by a husband and wife team, Colleen and Michael Monroe. Colleen is the writer, and she has included interesting and sometimes surprising facts about each subject (did you know that newborn fawns are born with no scent to protect them from predators?). Michael is a nationally known, award-winning (and self-taught) wildlife artist who spends most of his year visiting schools around the country, encouraging children to never give up on their dreams. His love of nature and wildlife is reflected in the sketches which adorn each page. The drawing instruction is detailed, begins with simple shapes, includes written instruction for adding features through the illustrated progression of steps, and ends with a completed sketch that very closely resembles part of the artist's depiction. Two pages of drawing tips, including a mini-lesson on shading, precede the actual text. Subjects include: hummingbirds, birds, ducks, loons, turtles, herons, frogs, rabbits, white-tailed deer, white-tailed fawns, owls, bears, and wolves. The book ends with some simple things you can do to help wildlife like keeping dangerous litter contained, building birdhouses, and planting flowers. The book is about 36 pages in landscape format with a hard cover, making it a little more durable for outdoor use.

  • Item #: 065480
    ISBN: 9781600512872
    Retail: $12.95
    Rainbow Price: $10.95

      You made the decision to homeschool – now don’t panic! Prayer, meditation and conviction, hopefully, were a part of your decision-making process, so keep praying and ‘rest’ in God for the confidence that He is in control.

      Written from a homeschool mom’s perspective, she is writing about what she has learned and knows to be true, not some theory that might work - homeschool wholeheartedly with God. The first edition of this book was in electronic format, this is now the second edition and is reorganized and expanded – now 90 pages. The book is a great read through for mom, but you can make it a study with the other items that are offered. The book offers principles and ways to implement them, along with words of encouragement to refocus on God.

      If you’re feeling frazzled and the joy of homeschooling your children has dwindled, this book could be a good resource to recharge and refocus on God and your reason to homeschool. ~ Donna

  • Item #: 074180
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $24.95

    In the same vein of physical dexterity games as Suspend!, this game uses the constant but unpredictable force of gravity to push your balancing skills to the limit! A central “Gravitational Pole” somewhat resembling the body of an artificial Christmas tree is placed in the center of the table to begin. 3 counterweight baskets protrude near the base and are filled with several different styles and weights of “tipping point.” Each turn, players take a tipping point of their choice and add it to a spoke of their choice on the pole. As more weight is added, the pole starts to tip and wobble. Maybe you can make it harder by putting this heavy weight on the far side- oops! There it goes! When any pieces fall off the pole, the last person to successfully put a piece on wins! For 2 or more players.

    CHOKING HAZARD (1). Not <3 yrs.

  • Item #: 006891
    Retail: $27.99
    Rainbow Price: $21.95

    Finally, a puzzle that isn't flat! In fact, it's quite the opposite. It is a sphere! This means you'll be twisting it quite a bit in order to complete the puzzle. There are many different tracks inside the sphere, with obstacles along each. Follow the numbered path, and keep trying! It'll take more than one attempt to complete this challenge, and there seem to be many dead ends. Almost every angle, side, and rotation will be needed to move the little metal ball to the end... maybe if you rotate it, you can make it- oops! It fell off! It's fun to play it on your own or race against a friend with another Perplexus. I must warn you, however: it's completely addicting. You'll never want to let go of it once you start. ~ Stephen

  • Item #: 046854
    ISBN: 9780810957213
    Retail: $19.95
    Rainbow Price: $15.95

    Can You Hear It? by William Lach is an interesting addition to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's popular Can You Find It? series. In this 39-page book, beautiful works of art are paired with equally beautiful symphonies, introducing children to both and encouraging their appreciation. The book brings pictorial classical music—music inspired by or capable of conjuring vivid visual images—to life through 16th century oil paintings, 19th-century engravings, and more, all displayed in dazzling full-color. Featured music includes pieces and excerpts of Vivaldi, Gershwin, Copland, Tchaikovsky, and others. The game is played and the book best used by reading the "Can you hear it?" clues on the pages, finding the clue in the artwork, playing the corresponding symphonic track on the included CD, and listening for the specific sound effect intended to represent that particular image. Follow-up clues are provided for the more difficult pairs. After identifying the clues, children can act out, draw, or describe the pictures the music makes in their own minds in addition to those in the art on the pages. Also included in the book are "An Introduction to Musical Instruments" (six pages of instrument descriptions and photographs of beautiful instruments—both in works of art, and that are works of art in themselves), a special section "About the Art and Music," and a brief listing of additional print, web, and CD resources. A great introduction to both art and classical music, and a beautiful and memorable book. ~ Rachel D.

  • Item #: 010992
    ISBN: 9781933339009
    Retail: $17.95
    Rainbow Price: $11.25
    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 #: 018005
    ISBN: 9780794528331
    Retail: $19.99
    Rainbow Price: $18.99
    This book covers it all, from the dawn of history right up to the year 2000, for all the major civilizations, all the rulers, and all the events in world history. Pages are filled with clear, interesting accounts of historical events, realistic reconstructions of scenes, and tons of incredible photographs. More than 100 charts and maps are included, allowing you to see exactly where events took place. Besides being an intriguing book to read, this is also your link to world history on the web. After reading about a subject, go online; every link leads you to a website where you can read additional information, watch video clips, play games, see photos, and use other unique website features to experience "virtually" all of world history. I was never much for history, but I wish I had this book when I was younger; these websites look really intriguing. For a study of the ancient world you can get virtual tours of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a virtual walking tour of Rome and Athens, learn to speak Ancient Greek, write in hieroglyphics, take interactive tours of museums, explore the Valley of Kings in Egypt and learn about the pharaohs buried there and their tombs through photos and panoramic movies, view profiles of famous Romans and Greeks, explore a clickable Roman marketplace, and loads more. Some sights are interactive, where you can, for example, reenact the Battle of Hastings, and some are treasure troves of information, maps, timelines, and diagrams.

    Note: The first 100 or so pages of the book discuss the "Prehistoric World" (starting 4,550 million years ago with the Big Bang and proceeding to 12,000 years ago when the last ice age came to an end). This section outlines evolution and likely contains objectionable material. However, the rest of the sections (Ancient World, Medieval World, Last 500 Years) are more factual and make up for the first. A colorful, captivating book. 416 pages. Stephanie

  • Item #: 029837
    ISBN: 9780448412535
    Retail: $8.99
    Rainbow Price: $6.75

    This field guide is quite an education in stargazing. It can be very difficult to pick out the constellations, or to find certain stars, if you have an untrained eye - so open this book and start that training. In the introduction, readers get background on who named the constellations, what stars are, why constellations move, and some tips to make your stargazing more fruitful. The rest of the book is divided into five sections to show the constellations which can be seen year-round, in winter, spring, summer, and autumn. In each of these sections, the stories behind the names are told, the best time of year to view them is revealed, and step-by-step directions for finding them are included. The page opposite all of this is a picture of the sky with glow-in-the-dark stars showing the position of the constellation. The book contains eight glow-in-the-dark maps of the northern and southern hemispheres in all four seasons. In all, there are 19 glow-in-the-dark maps of the stars and constellations. A useful tool for training your eye to see more than just a sky full of dots. ~ Zach

  • Item #: 022914
    ISBN: 9780979221101
    Retail: $39.00
    Rainbow Price: $32.45

    Sure, we all study astronomy in high school, but does the astronomy you studied help you to navigate, tell time, or even identify the planets as they appear to us in the sky? Probably not, if you, like me and many others, studied astronomy primarily as ½Å"modern astronomy" which offers dazzling telescopic photos of the planets, and information based on measurements made by astronomers. So, what's the difference? Classical astronomy is based on how humans on earth view the sky, and how we can learn the patterns of movement of the sun, moon and stars and apply this knowledge for practical use. This is the way astronomy has been studied for centuries, before we developed high-tech instruments to satisfy our never-ending curiosity about the surfaces of other planets, the structure of stars and planets, and what else is out there.

    To fulfill this purpose, Signs & Seasons focuses on learning classical astronomy through the cycles of movement of celestial bodies and how these change through a day, a month, and a year. The course is written from a Biblical standpoint, and author Jay Ryan reminds us that keeping time through the days, months, and seasons were actually the purpose that the sun, moon, and stars were created. Seven chapters (and an epilogue) cover an introduction to the sky, day, night, the cycle of the month, the position of the sun in the sky and its' apparent movement to us, the cycle of the month, the seasonal stars, ½Å"wandering" stars (planets), and the calendar. Topics studied within include the divisions of the day, astronomical alignments, the circle of the meridian, phases of the moon, eclipses and why they occur, changes in the sky through the seasons, the motions of the planets, and much more. Historical information is woven throughout the text, which ties together what we observe in the skies today, and what ancient astronomers learned from viewing the same sky years ago.

    Each chapter is formatted like a science text, with very readable, fascinating text accompanied by large, clear, grayscale illustrations that follow along and offer a visual component that matches the reading. The diagrams that show the movement of the stars are especially helpful, as they show their change in position over time, from the ground, so they should be similar to what you observe in the night sky. Quotes from the Bible, famous astronomers, and various other places are scattered throughout the text, and in keeping with the ½Å"classical" theme, historical woodcuts and vintage art also accompany the text.

    Following the text portion of the book, you'll find a section of ½Å"field activities" to be used with each chapter. These include making and maintaining a field journal to record all of your observations, sketching diagrams of the sun, moon and stars and doing hands-on manipulative activities with a globe and cardboard models. Activities are given for all major topics covered which allow you to see the astronomical topics in practice and are sure to make them very memorable! Guiding questions accompany the observation activities and give students a guideline for their journal entries as they observe. Although there are no study or review questions found in the book chapters, keep an eye out for the accompanying workbook that will be available soon. An appendix at the end of the book holds a glossary, bibliographies of quoted authors, astronomical tables for viewing the stars and planets, a bibliography and index. So, if you think you've already covered astronomy, sit tight and enjoy this course which helps you understand what you actually see when you look up at the stars at night. 262 pages, hardcover. ½" Jess

  • Item #: 031217
    ISBN: 9781595231154
    Retail: $27.00
    Rainbow Price: $16.95

    Although this book was written by a couple of university history professors, it is a refreshing change from the beat-up-on-America crowd. No anti-white-male, anti-Christian, anti-firearm, anti-capitalism stuff here. Instead, the authors speak of a nation to be proud of, a nation that loves public virtue, personal liberty, and private property.

    This 10th anniversary edition is the size of a textbook packed with 981 pages, including footnotes and an alphabetical index. However, the text is very readable and interesting, and no review questions are provided. Occasional sidebars delve deeper into a particular subject without detracting from the flow of the story. The book begins with the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus and ends with the war in Iraq and Iraq's liberation. Various eras in our history get about the same amount of ink, with the exception of the Civil War, which is covered in greater detail.

    I can't say enough positive about the tone of the book. One of the sentences in the conclusion reads, "The fatal flaw of bin Laden - like Hitler, Stalin, and even the nearsighted Spaniards of 500 years ago - was that they fixed their gaze on the physical manifestations of the wealth of the West, failing to understand that wealth is a mere by-product of other, more important qualities: initiative, inventiveness, hope, optimism, and, above all, faith." Makes you proud to be an American. ~ Bob

  • Item #: 001533
    ISBN: 9780140309270
    Retail: $7.99
    Rainbow Price: $5.95

    What do you do if you can't fix a broken doughnut making machine with tons of batter inside? What do you do after there are more than a thousand doughnuts and they just keep coming? What do you do if a rich lady has lost her diamond bracelet and it is inside of one of the doughnuts? If you're Homer Price, then your uncle has left you alone in the middle of this crisis and you have to find a way out of it! But that won't be a problem, because he's handled a skunk, four bank robbers, a 6' ball of string, and helped 100 families find their homes in the new subdivision where all 100 houses look exactly alike. - Melissa

  • Item #: 049228
    ISBN: 9780996505710
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $34.95

    Right-handed or left-handed, simple shapes, finger tracing, color-coding, catchy repetitive phrases and lots of practice make this single handwriting instruction book quite unique. Use it with big kids to littles. Its not juvenile looking, but also without a complicated design. Using the horizontal format with a top spiral at the top, work through the pages from the front, then flip over and work through the back sides. The four basic shapes are color coded: orange ovals, lime loops, silver swings and mauve mounds. Finger tracing builds muscle memory. Saying the task steps of a task as you perform them helps reinforce new motor skills. And of course, there is pencil work tracing: inside bubble letters; writing letters; connecting letters, followed by sentences. Each lesson reviews the 4 main shapes. Additionally unique, the letters are grouped by the 4 basic shapes, not in alphabetical order: a good option for visual learners. Its just well done. Whether your child would benefit from these methods, has never mastered cursive, or is a more traditional learner, this is as good a fit. Writing lines are .75" with dotted midline. Each lesson (10 total) can be completed in one 45-60-minute session, or in (up to 4) shorter, weekly lessons spread. 11"x 8.5", 111 pgs, pb. ~ Sara

  • Item #: 059250
    ISBN: 9781892427526
    Retail: $69.95
    Rainbow Price: $51.85

    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 #: 000519
    ISBN: 9780486401683
    Retail: $4.99
    Rainbow Price: $3.95

    What study of the states would be complete without a little coloring? Well, it's not really an essential, but it can reinforce the learning. Attractive blackline coloring pages are brimming with information about each of the 50 states, educating as they are colored. Which state is the Sunflower State? The Land of Opportunity? Which state's motto is "Ever Upward"? Informative captions provide each state's nickname, motto, flower, bird, tree, capital, principal rivers and mountains, notable attractions, and other special information.

    Accurate outline drawings of each state are prominent, with a small inset map of the United States showing its location (by shading). Some details, like mountains, rivers, and lakes, appear on the state. The capital's location is starred, but no printed names appear - so you can have your children do a little research and mapwork for extra benefit. This also makes the book usable as a reproducible map source. Surrounding the state are other blackline figures of the state bird, flower, related plant and animal life, and other significant features (New York, for example, includes the Statue of Liberty). Now your students can color their way to U.S. geographic literacy!

  • Item #: 046829
    ISBN: 9780982537701
    Retail: $47.95
    Rainbow Price: $45.95

    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 #: 034942
    ISBN: 9780794519858
    Retail: $16.99
    Rainbow Price: $16.14

    A book that young children will pick up for the pictures, and older children will enjoy for both the photos and the text, this is an amazing and attractive guide to some of science's most fascinating topics! Nine chapters cover topics such as atoms, matter, materials, energy, motion, electricity, light, technology, and the human body. Although reading the topics may make you yawn, simply crack open this book to any topic, and you'll quickly see how cool science can really be! Each page includes awesome photos, many of which have been taken from electron microscopes, or at least at very high magnification, which shows how awesome some of these "hard-to-imagine" things are, like viruses, spider spinnerets, strands of nylon, cables, cells, and more! Also notable are the detailed diagrams, photos, and images of other, larger items. Each page features general information about the topic, followed by more specific information on subtopics in a smaller font. The section on the internet includes some general information on the internet, and how it is used today, followed by some short sections on internet connections being included on common household appliances, how faster Internet connections are designed, internet communications to outer space, and cyber criminals. Most pages also feature a link to a cool website (through Usborne's own site, so that they can be continually updated), which allows kids to access interactive websites that feature a related activity or additional information. Incorporating the newest technology with some of the neatest concepts in science, this volume is sure to grab - and hold - kids' attention, even ones that don't think they're interested in "science." 96 pgs, sturdy softcover. - Jess

  • Item #: 001482
    ISBN: 9780140383195
    Retail: $6.99
    Rainbow Price: $5.25

    Load up your covered wagon and join the Todd family as they journey from their comfortable Arkansas home to the great unknown along the Oregon Trail. With only a guide book and their strong faith in God, the Todd family tackles the dangerous two thousand mile journey with courage and a pioneering spirit. Through the eyes of Mary Ellen, we see and experience the difficulties of the Todd family as they encounter rough terrain, broken down wagons, cholera, swollen river beds, and hostile Indians. In spite of all this, nothing will stop them from their dream of a homestead in the bountiful Oregon territory. This book is a great fictional introduction to life on the historical Oregon Trail. It is a great read and is full of concrete historical information to accompany any study of the wild Western Frontier and the pioneers who settled it. The author, Jean Van Leeuwen will draw any reader into the story with the details of life along the Oregon Trail. You can also track the Todd family's progress chapter-by-chapter with the use of the illustrated map provided on the first two pages. Will the Todd family make it to Oregon before winter hits? 167 pgs, pb. - elise

  • Item #: 021838
    Retail: $44.95
    Rainbow Price: $37.95

    Don't be fooled by the price tag on this product, the cards in this box are more than just a game. This box is full of vocabulary words – 550 in all – with fun illustrations, definitions, pronunciations, and more. Each card is about the size and weight of a playing card and is punched in one corner (place on the included ring to use on the go). On the front of each card is an original drawing in full color, which acts as a mnemonic and on the reverse is the word, part of speech, pronunciation, definition, sample sentence, synonyms and antonyms. For example, Card #101 features "bombastic." The definition given on the back of the card is that it is an adjective, which means "excessively confident; pompous." The drawing on the front of the card is of a young man wearing a shirt that says "the man" and he is saying of himself "I'm the bomb" – he is being pompous or bombastic. These original little drawings work well for visual learners, and are a great option for learning new vocabulary.

    You can use these cards to play the "Picture Words" game by placing any number of cards, picture side up, on the table. The object of the game is to guess the definition of the words using only the picture. If you guess correctly, you collect the card and the person with the most cards wins the game.

    Another option for play is "Marie's Wordsmith" game. One person, the wordsmith, pulls a card from the box, shows it to the other players, and reads the part of speech, pronunciation, and definition on the back of the card. Each player writes a sentence using the word, while the wordsmith copies the sentence from the back of the card. Mix all sentences together and earn a point every time you can choose the sentence that was copied from the back of the card.

    There is a lot of information packed on each of these cards, and they will help anyone make a visual connection to vocabulary words. Marie's Words can be used at any grade level kindergarten through 12 for some real vocabulary fun! - Donna

  • Item #: 002784
    ISBN: 9781888827392
    Retail: $64.95
    Rainbow Price: $42.50

    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 #: 049271
    ISBN: 9780981695457
    Retail: $79.95
    Rainbow Price: $77.95

    When you're homeschooling it makes sense to study nutrition as a family, right? After all, you probably are all preparing and eating the same meals, and meal planning and shopping may even be cooperative efforts (if not, Mom is probably overworked!). Nutrition 101: Choose Life! was written for homeschooling families by a team of four moms (including two homeschool moms) to educate families about the relationship between our bodies and the food we eat. It's a unique book in that it is part textbook, part reference, and part cookbook. It's also a beautiful book, with glossy, full-color pages and good quality illustrations and photos. Finally, it's also biblically-based with plentiful Scripture references (KJV version) and a constant reminder that we are charged with maintaining the incredible body systems that God endowed us with. The course is divided into six main units, covering the major body systems: the brain and nervous system; digestive system; respiratory system and the senses; muscular and skeletal systems; cardiovascular and immune system; and the endocrine system and emotions. Units are further

    divided into four chapters, each designed to be completed in about a week. The authors provide a suggested daily schedule; however, you can easily adapt this to fit your needs. Each body system studied ties into a study of a particular nutrient or nutrients that you are encouraged to work into your diet, and to this end, quite a few healthy, whole-food recipes are included. The end of the book is also literally packed with a huge assortment of appendices (including lots of helpful charts!) and a thorough answer key for the activities. Each chapter includes text for reading, discussion questions, activity suggestions for elementary and secondary students, additional resources for further exploration, a "power recipe" and related activities. Typically, you'll first read about a body system, learn its function and all of the major parts, then continue on to learn about common health issues related to that body system and their causes. This is usually followed up by a closer look at a particular nutrient or group of nutrients that is beneficial to that particular body system.

    The "Power Recipe" (and associated list of activities) for each chapter is usually related to one of the featured beneficial nutrients. For instance, Unit 3, Chapter 4 is on the eyes. The first part of the chapter examines the parts of the eye and how the eye works. Then you'll read about eye sight issues including pink eye, sties, cataracts, glaucoma, presbyopia and age-related macular degeneration. Next you examine nutrients that help maintain eye health including antioxidants, beta-carotene (to be converted to Vitamin A), lycopene, anthocyanosides, DHA, lutein, zeaxanthin and others. Several foods that have an adverse effect on eyesight, including trans fatty acids and processed foods are also discussed here. Discussion questions include how to protect your eyes, what foods are bad for your eyes, and applying what you've read about the eye to a particular Scripture. The activities are hands on and include spending time blindfolded (elementary level), finding a percentage of family members that wear glasses or contact lenses (elementary), explaining the difference between an ophthalmologist and optometrist (secondary) and discussion other meanings of vision (secondary). The "Power Recipe" focuses on carrots as an ingredient for a fresh carrot juice smoothie, and several carrot and juicing activity suggestions round out the recipe activities.

    The format of this course makes it extremely easy to use as a family. You can assign everyone to read (or read aloud) the text, and then get back together for the discussion questions. Discussion questions tend to be fairly easy if you've read or heard the chapter, so everyone would be able to participate here, maybe even over dinner! Depending on the ages of your students and the time allotted, you will probably want to pick and choose activities to assign. The featured "Power Recipe" would be easy to incorporate into a meal and the related activities may naturally fit into meal preparation.

    While this course is packed with excellent information, recipes and activities, there are a few items I should note. First of all, for all of the anatomical information and vocabulary covered, there are no tests or worksheets to reinforce the reading. The focus of the course is really to educate families and encourage them to change their eating habits, not provide easily graded assessments! However, this would be fairly easy to supplement if desired. The recipes and foods you are encouraged to try are healthy whole foods with low to no sugar, whole grains and possibly some ingredients you haven't met before. If you've never explored your local health food store, you'll find quite a few reasons to visit it now! You'll also find that there are some pretty strong opinions presented here, for example, when discussing toxins found in household cleaners and personal care products, or when examining specific nutrients or supplements-including extensive recommendations for Young Living Essential Oils. You will likely come across something here that you may disagree with, based on your own beliefs, or at least something that will make you stop and think (or perhaps do some further research on). Lastly, I did notice a couple of typos in perusing this resource, which was disappointing in such an otherwise appealing book. Whether you are looking for a nutrition course or trying to educate yourself or your family on why you should eat healthier foods, this is definitely a resource to consider. It's one that you'll want to leave on the shelf long after you've "finished" the course, as you'll be referring to it again and again! 448 pgs, pb. Jess/Deanne

  • Item #: 021253
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $14.99
    You're playing Scrabble with three friends. You love the game but you hate the long delays between your turns. You can only spend so much time planning your next move, as someone invariably messes up your plans. What can you do? Bananagrams! In this Scrabble-like game, you compete against up to 7 other players, but your tiles, played and unplayed, are always under your control. In essence, you have your own flexible game of Scrabble going on, and so do your opponents. Start with your tiles (the number depending on the number of players), turn them over, and start making connecting and intersecting words. All letters are the same point value, and you can rearrange your words at any time. When any player has played all his letters, he takes a new tile from the Bunch, as do all the other players. If a player cannot play a letter, he can put the tile back and draw three other tiles. Play continues until there are fewer tiles in the Bunch than there are players. The first player to play all his tiles is the winner of that round (if all his words are correct). Rounds typically take around ten minutes, but can be as little as five, so games can consist of as many rounds as you decide. Variations of the game are also possible, even a solitaire game. Bananagrams comes in a cloth pouch that looks like (you guessed it) a banana, and includes 144 ivory-like tiles and instructions.
  • Item #: 000437
    ISBN: 9781118022436
    Retail: $32.95
    Rainbow Price: $20.75

    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 #: 042450
    ISBN: 9780830714728
    Retail: $19.99
    Rainbow Price: $14.95

    When reading the Bible, sometimes it is hard for kids (and adults) to see the "big picture." This big (and I mean BIG) Bible time line will help you see when the Bible events happened in relation to each other and how those events fit together to tell one BIG story! This reproducible book contains 68 11" x 8 1/2" pages. Each page highlights two major events, including a scripture reference, estimated time in history, and a black-and-white cartoon illustration that can be colored. When all the pages are hung side-by-side in chronological order it creates a 60' long time line. This timeline begins with Adam and Eve in the garden, and finishes with John being exiled on Patmos writing Revelation. Some fun activities are outlined in the introduction that will help you make the most of this great teaching tool. No matter how you put this time line to use, your children will appreciate the simple way it communicates the big picture of what the Bible is all about. Pb, 78 pgs. – elise

  • Item #: 035996
    ISBN: 9781623412708
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $79.00

    College-bound high school students are expected to write essays. Of the many, there are two (maybe three) essays that are "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences the ACT and/or SAT essay and the college entrance essay. These are very specific types of writing tasks and are quite different from a typical subject area essay and different from one another. One is a timed response to a prompt. It must be completed quickly and coherently. On the other hand, you can take as much time as you want writing the other. It must be as close to perfect as possible. You can prepare for both of these writing experiences. This video seminar from the Institute for Excellence in Writing and presented by Andrew Pudewa is a five DVD set two that cover/review general strategies for essay writing, one each for understanding and preparing for the New ACT Essay and the Redesigned SAT Essay, and, lastly, one covering strategies for the "personal essay."
    General strategies (Parts 1a and 1b) cover types of essays, possible ways to organize body paragraphs as well as possible essay structures, practice in the five canons of classical rhetoric, and stylistic elements. The TRIAC (topic, restriction, illustrations, analysis, clincher) outline is reviewed and practiced.
    The new ACT essay and the redesigned SAT essay have significant differences. The ACT essay is a prompt essay while the redesigned SAT essay is optional and is based on a source text. Parts 2 and 3 of this video seminar series provide techniques for producing quality essays in each of these situations in addition to thoroughly understanding what to expect and what is expected.
    Part 4 examines the personal essay, providing sample essay prompts/questions and typical questions including those that might be specific to Christian colleges as well as some wildcard questions.
    As expected, the most important preparation activity for these types of essays is to write a lot. Students are encouraged to complete one or more essays as a final practice assignment. Utilizing the strategies presented in this seminar and building in opportunities for many practice essays, you will make the best use of your preparation time.
    The HSEI Course includes a set of five DVDs and a course handout as well as an access code for the online streaming version of the seminar. The Handout (available as a separate purchase item as well) is the Portable Walls for the Essayist (a handy set-up-on-your-desk reference for everything pertaining to writing quality essays) plus extensive note-taking material from the seminar. Copyright 2017. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 022079
    ISBN: 9780982537718
    Retail: $24.95
    Rainbow Price: $24.50

    Every once in a while, you come across a product that you wish you could have had when you were growing up, and those were exactly my feelings when I reviewed Ellen Johnston McHenry's introductory chemistry course. Geared for the upper elementary to junior-high age students, it introduces chemistry gently, comparing the elements, the ingredients of our world to common kitchen ingredients we use everyday to make many very different baked goods. The analogy kicks off the first chapter, where they learn about the more common elements such as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, analogous to flour, sugar, and salt, which are used in nearly everything we bake. More uncommon elements such as berylium, gallium, and selenium are compared to fruit, spices, and other add-ins that you might only use in special recipes. The periodic table is then introduced, in the more simplified (and less intimidating) format of the "Kitchen Cupboard of the Universe). The basic concepts of chemistry are introduced in each chapter, in a very simple, understandable format, and avoids bogging them down with details that will be covered (much more exhaustively!) in high school or college. The approach appears to work well, with protons, neutrons, electrons, the electron cloud model, orbitals, bonding, spin, and more covered in just the very first few chapters. Fun and interactive activities are featured at the end of each chapter, to review and reinforce what was covered in the chapter, before moving further on. The activities are a good mix of hands-on experiments, and model-making, puzzles, fill-in-the-blanks, and of course short answer to write electron configurations, Lewis diagrams, chemical compounds and more. The hands-on activities have been well-chosen and illustrate well the concepts that have been learned. Constructing balloon electron cloud models and edible chemical compounds, creating carbon dioxide bubbles, and electolysis are several examples. Several songs are included, for those who are more auditorily oriented. Several more involved activities include making periodic-table pillowcases to play a game on, creating your own "collect-'em-all" chemical elements card deck, and performing several short skits on the discovery of several of the more common elements of the periodic table. Students are also challenged by the author to memorize as much of the periodic table as they can, to help make life easier when they revisit the subject (as well as impress their relatives at get-togethers). At only 78 pages of lessons, this is a fairly brief, but effective introduction to chemistry that could be easily worked into the academic year with any style of curriculum being used. Patterns, outlines, activity sheets, experiments, games, skits and more are included in the Teacher's Section in back half of the book activity packet. And, to make things easier on Mom, most of the materials are easily found, either around the home, or at your local Wal-Mart. (No poring over science supply catalogs trying to decide how many moles of a chemical to order!) A CD is no longer included with the book - instruction is given in the text to stream the songs from the publisher's website and prescreened youtube videos are referenced for additional information.

    All in all, this is a very well-done introduction to the basics of chemistry, and whatever your students take with them from this course will be well applied to more advanced chemistry, making their journey into more advanced chemistry all the more manageable. Plus, I think students will definitely be impressed with themselves for being able to complete some college-level chemistry by Chapter 3 of the book! Personally, my first real experience with chemistry was my senior year of high school, followed by the four semesters of chemistry required by my major, and I think both high school chemistry as well as introductory college chemistry would have been much easier to understand had I had some experience with these concepts at an earlier age. - Jess

  • Item #: 011655
    ISBN: 9780980030211
    Retail: $24.95
    Rainbow Price: $22.95

    "Modeling Writing after Great Works of World Literature Vol. 1." If you're learning to write, why not learn from the best? It's a great concept that's well-implemented in this new writing offering by Jill J. Dixon, B.S. Ed., M.Ed. Focusing on descriptive writing, Jill has chosen some of the best literary passages as models, including excerpts from:

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Describing an Object)

    A Christmas Carol (Describing a Place)

    Robinson Crusoe (Describing a Character)

    Wind in the Willows (Writing a Dialogue)

    "Gift of the Magi" (Writing a Short Story)

    "Ants and the Grasshopper" and "Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf" (Writing a Fable)

    "Paul Revere's Ride (Writing Poetry - Ballad or Narrative)

    Each of these nine units is broken into ten 15-to-45-minute daily lessons - though Jill cautions not to progress too quickly if a child has not mastered a skill. Objectives for each day are asterisked and should be read by the teacher before beginning each unit. Since lessons are addressed directly to the student, the program will require minimal teacher time in actually completing each lesson. You will need to do some preparatory instruction, dictation (once per unit), and check work completed. Each unit begins with an excerpt from a "classic", includes a good amount of grammar (parts of speech) instruction, some mechanics, has the student find another good example of the genre being studied (and doing some comparative / grammatical analysis), and culminates with student writing and proofreading. Every unit also includes a dictation exercise from the included (or another) classic excerpt. The student is then to check his result against the written copy. Units are systematic, instruction is clear, and the whole course is well-organized and ready to pick up and go. Jill has included several helps and references also, in the back of the volume. The first is a sheet on "The Characteristics that Make the Best Writing The Best". This is used as the basis for discussion of supplied and found excerpts. A proofreading checklist is included to encourage and help with self-editing. For the parent is a helpful sheet on grading criteria. My only dispute with this is the point (out of five) given for having a "topic sentence at the beginning and a concluding sentence at the end of each paragraph". Just skimming the excerpts included confirm much "great" writing is not "formula" writing. I agree that a beginning writer may need to start out this way - but it makes for boring writing if you insist each paragraph be structured so. Additional Literary Passages for Modeling Writing are included and listed by genre so that you can continue or reuse these lessons again and again with different literature, if desired. For the teacher and student is a How to Write Guide that takes you through the steps for each type of writing. And, lastly, a key to the parts of speech exercises in included for you. All in all, there is a fair amount of grammar and mechanics instruction included in this volume in the context of writing and proofreading, though the author suggests supplementing with Easy Grammar, Daily Grams, Editor in Chief or Great Editing Adventures if you feel you need more specific or intensive instruction. Other recommended materials are a dictionary and thesaurus for each student. A writing or grammar handbook would also be helpful - especially if your skills are a little rusty. Permission to reproduce is given for the excerpts and the proofreading checklist. These are the only consumable components, and each student will need his own. All in all, this program looks like a well-organized, easy to use, effective writing program that I'm personally eager to try!

  • Item #: 046046
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $23.60

    This colorful series from Singapore Math introduces early concepts in life science, physical science, chemistry, and earth science to the very young. Each book focuses on one of these sciences, and contains 29 lessons and an answer key. Lessons are a page in length, with each topical lesson containing a short informational segment, follow-up questions or a hands-on activity. The material is presented in its simplest form, and most often the questions repeated at the end simply ask the student what was discussed at the top of the page, although in some cases, it might be helpful to have read a little more material on the subject as well. The range of subjects is pretty impressive, including animal habitats, parts of the ear and eye, seeds and how they sprout, electromagnets, conductors, circuits, mixing colors, evaporation, how sound is made, sinking or floating, seasons, solar system, Milky Way, constellations, meteors, food chains, and more. As an example of a lesson, one lesson in Book 3 features a short paragraph on the properties of some common materials, followed by a blank chart. The students must decide whether some other common materials such as wood, glass, plastic, rubber and others are hard, if they can be bent, if they last a long time, and if they are attracted to a magnet. After that activity, several common materials are listed, and the student must match these to the item or construction it can be used to make. All activities are generously illustrated with friendly, cartoon-like animals and objects, and altogether the books have a "fun," relaxed look about them, even though the concepts are fairly well-presented and a little more serious that I've seen in other early elementary science programs. Inexpensive and easy-to-use, this set could easily make up a complete science curriculum for the early grades, although you may want to supplement with a little more reading, especially with interesting related library books to broaden their horizons a little more. Each book used to be available separately, but it is now sold only as a set of four books. – Jess

  • Item #: 019409
    ISBN: 9781556524578
    Retail: $18.95
    Rainbow Price: $13.95

    Personally, I love these activity guides. They're well done, tell a good story, give a lot of good details, and offer some really neat projects to accompany the study. This study is especially interesting, as it focuses on a period of history that is normally not covered in any great depth - that of the ancient Israelites, the Phoenicians, and the Philistines. Several important aspects of each of these three civilizations are studied, including their history, architecture, clothing, language and writing, work, food, and religion. A nice timeline is included at the beginning, featuring a strip for each individual civilization, so you can see what was going on in each of the other countries at the same time. An introduction gives you the basics on the land you will be studying, as well as the time period - from 1200 B.C. to 538 B.C. Then we jump into the Israelite section. Much information as to Israelite history is drawn from the Bible, although, since the book is from a secular publisher, it is not taken to be infallible evidence. Much archaeological evidence is cited for the history of each civilization as well, which is fascinating, and sparks some neat projects! Each topic is discussed in each civilization on several pages, in a highly readable and interesting style packed with pictures such as artifacts and preserved buildings. Interesting related facts are frequently included off to the side. As mentioned above, the activities are great, and enough of them are included so you can pick and choose to suit your time and interests. For instance, in the Israelite section, you may construct a model pillared house, complete with some spare furniture, write in the ancient Israelite alphabet on a smashed pot, make your own stamp seal, create a model terrace farm, carry water on your head, stomp some grapes into juice, cook up an ancient Israelite meal, and making a blessing scroll. That's not all; I'm sure the kids will also really get into making a costume for each civilization, including headwear and other accessories, such as jewelry. Including an activity guide like this in your history studies will definitely add some spice - and a lot of fun! - Jess

  • Item #: 005378
    Retail: $5.99
    Rainbow Price: $5.25

    The Microslide Viewer is an alternative to a microscope. It looks a lot like a microscope, but instead of viewing your own slides or prepared slides, it uses low-power magnification to allow you to view Microslides. A Microslide consists of eight 35mm images photographed from a microscope. Because they are actual photographs, they are much clearer than a normal slide's image. The microslides are stored in clear plastic holders for protection, and arrows call attention to the important features of the image. The strip fits right in the viewer so that you can pull it through to view all eight pictures. As you can see from the list below, plenty of Microslides are available. You can use it inside or outside, as it doesn't require batteries or electricity. Normal classroom light reflects off the white reflector to enable you to see the images clearly. This is a much cheaper alternative to a microscope and slides, without sacrificing image quality. Microslides come in a folder-like card which features information about each slide and includes a holder for the slide itself. A helpful amount of information is normally included for each slide image, including the name of the image, the magnification of the image, background information and points of interest. It's especially helpful when points of interest are labeled with letters, which are repeated on the slide, to make it easy to locate them. It's like getting a guided tour!  Although designed for the Microslide viewer, these slides can also be viewed on a standard microscope, with some adjustment. ~ Stephanie

  • Item #: 068025
    ISBN: 9780990777007
    Retail: $159.95
    Rainbow Price: $141.95

       This is a guide to developmentally appropriate activities in many learning areas – home life/social emotional, math/manipulatives, art/music, science/sensory, language/literacy, outdoor/gross motor, and field trip suggestions. Very little prep is needed to do the activities, just gather the supplies and books listed for a complete introduction with young children or accompaniment to your math and phonics/reading for kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade. Each month (September through May) incorporates a theme and a character trait into the activities, and is 3-hole punched so you can place the pages in a binder for easy access and storage. Printables are included and step-by-step instructions will make it easy for any parent to work through the activities. You should plan on 2 to 4 activities per day, but plan for what fits into your schedule – “flexibility” is the name of this game. 296 pgs, pb.

     

      Within the packet of pages, you will receive a monthly overview printed on card stock that can be hung up so mom can see what they will be covering during the month – a good visual and planning tool. Sections on the monthly overview list the activities to be done in each area of learning. An Introduction to the program explains the philosophy and a list of what will be covered by theme and character trait. The rest of the pages have beautiful photographs, and step-by-step instructions for implementation.

      Let me give you a sampling of one month of the program. The theme for September is “The World I Live In,” and the character trait is “wonder.” Mom’s Toolbox is the first part of every month and this is where some special resources or items will be listed. In September the “Private Eye” loupe and the book Global Art by Mary Ann Kohl are mentioned. Anything found in the “Mom’s Toolbox” section would be good to get your hands on for incorporation later in the lesson. Home Life and Social/Emotional is the first activity section for September and includes the activities of using balloons and a laundry basket to ‘take a hot air balloon ride,’ make a hot air balloon snack, practice your manners by saying please/thank you, clearing dishes after a meal, and planning an emergency exit plan for your home. You can tell already that not all activities will work for all ages, but that’s the beauty – you can adapt as you need to, pick-and-choose as you see fit. The book list for September includes Hot Air, A House is a House for Me, Can You Hear It, Frog and Toad, and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Language and Literacy for September includes tactile letter practice, children developing their own story, and making a book. Math and Manipulatives include activities such as counting and swinging, making a spindle box (counting box), making shapes, a nature math book, and playing a water bottle marble game. Science and Sensory will have your little ones exploring outdoors with simple tools like magnifiers, binoculars, nature guides, etc., making a nature journal and a pendulum, cooking up a batch of herbal tea play dough and creating nature scenes, making an artistic pond, and make a nesting set using cans. Art and Music includes using chicken wire to use as a weaving loom with fabric scraps, making a painting on a long piece of butcher paper, sculpting clay tree faces, using coffee filters to create artistic reproductions, making salt and mirror art, and learning the song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” Gross Motor and Outside has activities to develop ball skills and play games like Squish the bug, Hit the Hula Hoop, Wonder-Ball and running an obstacle course. Field Trip suggestions are touring the local news station or grocery store. At the end of each month is a supply list so you can see everything at a glance for easier preparation; most items will be things from around your home. A page for monthly memories and two planning pages are included at the end of the month, as well.

      Throughout each month, on every page, are photographs of the activities and children performing the tasks mentioned on the pages. Each month follows a similar format, so it’s pretty easy to get into a routine that fits your lifestyle. The Printables are on card stock and include photos, game instructions and game pieces, and other items that are mentioned during the monthly activities.

      Intended to give some guidance but not dictate the schedule, Year of Playing Skillfully can become a partner for you and your family as you begin the educational journey with your young learners. ~ Donna