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Your Natural Learner

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  • Item #: 039450
    ISBN: 9781889538860
    Retail: $15.95
    Rainbow Price: $11.50

    Beautifully illustrated, this appealing book will inform and delight even the youngest learner in your family. Beginning with a gentle introduction to trees, covering tree sustenance, leaf types, flowers/fruits, cones, and the unique traits of bark and the trunk, a variety of trees in North America are showcased, from rural Georgia to the streets of New York City to the California suburbs. Each two-page spread includes a beautiful watercolor illustration of the featured tree as well as life-sized depictions of its leaf, flower, and seed. These pictures beautifully compliment the detailed, understandable text. Also included are additional reading suggestions for adults and children and recommended websites which add to the scope of this helpful book. HC. 96 pgs. Deanne

  • Item #: 040059
    ISBN: 9781936208012
    Retail: $15.99
    Rainbow Price: $10.15

    As the mom of a budding zoologist, I quickly found that most of the books we read covered the same information…oh, there may have been variations in content or images, but the animal species were nearly identical. I felt like we were always studying the same things. If you ever felt the same way with your little zoologist, I think you will be pleased with this excellent resource. From a Christian perspective, this book introduces children to some of God's unusual animal and plant creations found within nature.

    Written and photographed by a father and son missionary team, the chapters are beautifully photographed and well-written. As a visual learner, I really appreciate how each of the topical chapters is color-coded, meaning that individual life forms studied are presented on uniquely colored pages. The information is presented in a story format and ranges from 3-7 pages per specimen. You and your children will be captivated reading about the Northern Potoo, Jabiru storks, black howler monkeys, monkey-faced orchids (yes - there really is such a flower), the poison dart frog, the Indian piper, the cacao tree, weasel and much more. Scripture references, observations about the marvelous design of our God and scientific names offer a refreshing look our Father's world. Magnificently illustrated with full color photographs, the entire family will be eager to learn more about God's creation. HC. 149 pgs. ~Deanne

  • Item #: 010791
    ISBN: 9781580174930
    Retail: $18.95
    Rainbow Price: $12.95

    Learn to slow down and enjoy life as you observe and reflect upon the world around you. In Part One of this book, you will learn what it means to keep a nature journal, how to start exploring, and how to express your thoughts using the written word and drawings. If you're not a great artist, don't panic! This book will help you lay aside your fears as it encourages you to improve your skills through practice.

    Part Two of this manual focuses on the ongoing journal, providing ideas to keep your journal active throughout the changing seasons. Centering a portion of your seasonal observations on a stationary object or place such as the tree across the street, an easily observed park or street corner, or even the moon will lend a sense of continuity to your entries.

    The final section is entitled "Learning and Teaching Nature Journaling." This segment consists of a number of exercises to help the reader gain confidence with basic drawing skills including contour, capturing basic shapes, foreshortening, perspective, and shading. The author has also provided helpful tips to simplify drawing flowers, landscapes, weather, reptiles and amphibians, birds, and other objects which may prove difficult to capture on paper.

    The last few chapters of this section are devoted to the idea of teaching the art of nature journaling to people of all ages, and adapting nature journaling to a group activity. This portion stresses the role of the teacher in creating learning situations that stimulate learners to begin writing or drawing in a journal.

    The book has just a bit of evolutionary content in it, but nothing that can't be avoided. A helpful appendix at the back of the book gives suggested reading, additional resources, and a suggested scale for teachers to assess nature journaling skills. Complete index. - Rachel

  • Item #: 069185
    ISBN: 9781947484009
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $29.95

     Right- Brained Time, Money & Measurement is an engaging resource to teach practical skills to children from 5-8 years of age. Like the others in this series, the targeted learner is the visual or right brain although it may benefit children of all learning types. Concepts are taught through images, stories, hands-on activities, and patterns: all designed to engage and target a child’s natural learning strengths. Divided into 3 sections, one for each of the targeted skills, lessons begin with simple concepts and increase in difficulty. It is recommended you only go as far as your student is ready, depending on age and level. Part I, Time, covers everything from introducing the hands on a clock (Ollie Hour, Molly Minute, and Sammy Second), to future and elapsed time, and to estimating time. In Money, children are introduced to the different money denominations and end with adding money and making change. The final section, Measurement, focuses on measuring temperature, length, perimeter, area, weight, and volume. Resources for practicing the skills taught in the book and an answer key are included. Depending on your child, you may wish to add a clock, play money or measuring cups (not required). You will need a 12” ruler, measuring tape (or yard stick), kitchen scale, bathroom scale, and a food thermometer. The final section also includes cooking activities, so other common household and food items will be necessary. This is a wonderful resource to engage your child’s learning practical math skills.

  • Item #: 068704
    ISBN: 9781543083972
    Retail: $34.50
    Rainbow Price: $28.25

     Love the idea of unschooling, but struggle to find a balance between too much unproductive time and a strictly scheduled day? This resource may provide the perfect balance. Subtitled, “The Beginner’s Journal”, this animal and farm themed curriculum gently guides learning in several areas including reading, handwriting, logic, spelling, classic literature and music, mathematics including practice in addition, subtraction, and multiplication, creative writing, and more.

      Due to the open-ended nature of this course, you will notice repetition in many of the activity pages. For example, the backyard science/nature walk study pages, animals of the world, and reading time pages allow children to document varied observations and studies. Many struggling learners thrive on familiarity, which helps create a fun learning experience for struggling or younger students. Parents will need to assist their children in choosing topics of study, completion of some activities and securing additional, recommended resources.

      Recommended educational resources include a computer with your own Minecraft world, audio books, Story of the World for the Classical Child, Classical music CDs, a variety of educational videos and movies, and a math curriculum (Life of Fred or Math-U-See are suggested). Necessary school supplies include pencils, colored pencils, gel pens, origami paper, and a ruler. Assorted dyslexia games from the author’s Series A and B are included, and the Dyslexie font is utilized. Author states a child may work in this book up to 3 hours daily for 6 weeks, with 30 minutes of computer time 3 days per week, although flexibility allows you to fit to your family’s needs. Reproducible for children in your household. Black and white graphics. SC. 294 pgs. ~Deanne

  • Item #: 068703
    ISBN: 9781536914443
    Retail: $36.50
    Rainbow Price: $29.95

      Targeting a slightly older crowd, this flexible curriculum resource may inspire delight-directed learning in your family. In this (mostly) self-study, children begin by choosing topics they wish to study and take steps to achieve their goals. Tips for wisely choosing resources while using these recommended resources: computer access and personal Minecraft world, audio books, Story of the World for the Classical Child, Classical music, Google Earth and parent-approved news sources, educational videos and movies, and a math curriculum (Life of Fred or Math U See suggested). Listed are also a few necessary supplies: pencils, colored pencils, gel pens, origami paper, and a ruler.

      The heart of this course is the gentle, guiding learning in an array of subject areas including reading, creative writing, spelling and vocabulary, classical literature and music, mathematics (open ended to use with your math curriculum), science, geography, current events and much more. Comparing this to the author’s Fun-Schooling Curriculum: Homeschooling with Minecraft, you will note overlapping activities but a different focus. The aforementioned course includes an animal and farm theme designed to engage younger learners, whereas the DIY Curriculum is written for a slightly older crowd and focuses on Geography and “world news today” events. Woven throughout the course are research projects to learn about mining in the real world, which provides a fascinating “rabbit trail” to a Minecraft study.

      If you are wondering which of the Thinking Tree Minecraft studies would best fit your child, younger children who thrive when working more directly with a parent, may find the Fun-Schooling Curriculum: Homeschooling with Minecraft (#068704) a better option. While the reading level recommended for this course is grade 2 and up, many of the research activities and world studies seem better fit for an older child. Other activities like the backyard science nature walk and study may work with all ages. Another consideration in selecting these activities is the student’s ability to concentrate for longer periods of time. While the author does not define computer time in this course, her general guidelines for daily study are 5 pages per day for 10 years and under and 10 pages per day for 10 years and up (2-4 hours per day). Repetition is also built into this curriculum guide allowing students to study various aspects of Minecraft in a similar fashion.

  • Item #: 068025
    ISBN: 9780990777007
    Retail: $159.95
    Rainbow Price: $139.95

       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

  • Item #: 067830
    Retail: $224.95
    Rainbow Price: $199.95

    Based on the three-point instructional method: "this is;" "show me;" and "what is?" as well as an underlying Socratic question/answer format, ShillerMath Language Arts is Montesorri at its best. The totally scripted teaching manuals each provide a semester's worth of daily lessons (71-84 lessons in each book). Kit 1 (Books 1-4) is designed for ages 3-5. We understand there will be two more levels: Books 5-8 are for ages 4-7; Books 9-12 are for ages 6-8. If these age levels seem a bit odd to you (they do to me as well), it's because there are two levels of things happening here. One is phonics instruction and the other is an amazing/exciting combination of language arts "more." For example, here are the "more" topics covered on the Book 4 Review Test imitate (speaking, listening, reading, writing), introduce yourself, repeating 5 words back in order, articles (as in part of speech), retelling a story, emotions (tell me about a time when . . .), touch typing (home position basics), rhyming words, identifying adjectives, describing basic geographic features, describing peripheral vision, naming the months of the year, naming first ten ordinal numbers, comparisons, copying a very diverse collection of shapes, showing directions, and, lastly, identifying Shakespeare and naming a sonnet. The bottom line is that there is a lot of learning going on here and a lot of flexibility. An older student (5 years) might start with Kit 1 and fly through the learning but still come away with new information.

    Lessons require no preparation and vary in both length and complexity. There is also great variety in the content which is why the teacher is encouraged to skip lessons if the student is not ready for its content. Since one of the basic premises of Montesorri education is that children are natural learners, the teacher's role is to provide a learning-friendly environment and the proper tools. Students are usually the best gauge of their own competence and will know when they have closure on a topic so be prepared to be flexible and sensitive. There is a checklist included, as the back cover of each lesson book is to be used to record when a lesson is completed.

    A good part of Montessori instruction is managing the dialog between teacher and student. Although appropriate wording is modeled in the lessons, there is also general information at the front of the Lesson Books on building an environment conducive to learning.

    As mentioned before the Lesson Books are totally scripted. This means that everything you need to say to the student is provided for you. For instance, Lesson 24, Book 4 practices comparative terminology. There are eight points to the lesson. The first point covers "est" words and comparing three or more things. The second point talks about the "er" words and comparing two things. Then there are five sets of pictures of various objects to compare starting with three objects of varying sizes but progressing to four and six objects. About 95 pgs each, spiral-bound.

    The lesson on emotions is illustrative of the different directions this curriculum takes. First we are told that "emotions are what we feel." There are pictures of four children illustrating these emotions: shy, sad, jealous, and sorry. As part of the lesson the child is encouraged to demonstrate how she/he feels with each of those emotions as well as to tell a story about a time when he/she was . . . . . All in all, an interesting and excellent introduction to an intriguing subject.

    The Mother Goose Book includes 358 "stories." These are to be used as part of each day's lessons (read-aloud) and can be requested by the child as desired. These stories are printed in large print and would be read by the child (if able). There are multiple stories on each page. Please note there are no illustrations at all in the book. 152 pgs. spiral-bound.

    The Lesson Mat needs to be mentioned. It is large (22" x 34") and cream-colored. Fabric is some sort of foam but the touch is velvety. It is slightly stretchy in one direction. This mat is used with all lessons and serves as a portable workspace allowing you to take your lessons anywhere inside (or outside) of the house.

    The Kit contents all have a purpose within the lessons. While most of the items are somewhat typical (letters, numbers, crayons, Play-Doh), that is not true of the Montessori shapes manipulatives. There are ten shapes (square, circle, triangle, rectangle, trapezoid, quatrefoil, pentagon, oval, elipse, and curvilinear triangle) illustrated two different ways: blue shapes with molded lifters and ten matching pink stencil shapes. Stencils are 5.5" squares; shapes are various sizes with 3 7/8" square being the largest.

    Kit 1 includes Lesson Books 1-4; foam mat; magnetic alphabet (uppercase & lowercase letters plus numbers); quinoa grain, washable large crayons; shapes with knobs and matching bases (10), 4 tubs of Play-Doh; book of Mother Goose Rhymes; and CD with 24 language arts songs. ~ Janice

  • Item #: 052566
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $39.99

    While writing may not be enjoyable for many children, there are others who battle writing so strongly that as a parent, you know it is just not "normal". Your child may be very bright and possibly be able to weave a wonderful oral story, but the process of putting spoken words onto paper is so overwhelming that your child resists you and fights you every step of the way. Why do some children dread writing so intensely? The problem may be a writing glitch known as dysgraphia.

    In this DVD, Dianne Craft identifies four natural learning gates and explores the many characteristics of dysgraphia concluding with a simple diagnostic test parents can give their children to assess them for dysgraphia. Some of the traits you may notice if your child has dysgraphia include letter and number reversals, poor spacing with manuscript writing and math problems, copying from the board or a book is difficult and often is completed one letter at a time, words contain mix of upper case and lower case letters, and he may experience difficulties with fine motor skills. Other characteristics of children with a blocked learning gate are expanded upon before Mrs. Craft introduces us to a simple exercise designed to eliminate dysgraphia, which is demonstrated multiple times with children of various ages. While the exercise will be easy to implement at home, she acknowledges it is not an overnight process; in fact, her recommendation is to complete the exercise four days a week for eight weeks for maximum benefit. Included in the DVD are tips to overcome the common roadblocks to successful integration of the "writing eight" exercise. Professionally done, this DVD provides parents the knowledge they need to understand the writing struggles experienced by their bright learners as well as the confidence to assist them in conquering the blocked learning gate. DVD. 127 min. Deanne



  • Item #: 041633
    Retail: $9.99
    Rainbow Price: $5.80

    These clever idea cards include 40 projects for your student and accommodate a variety of learning styles. Using Bloom's Taxonomy for levels of comprehension and the Multiple Intelligence (MI) profiles, you can choose the card that best fits your learner or push their boundaries with projects outside of his natural learning direction. If you are not familiar with the term MI, you might still recognize the intelligence categories: naturalist, musical, verbal/linguistic, interpersonal, bodily/kinesthetic, visual/spatial, existential, and intrapersonal. Bloom's categories include: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. At the bottom of each card, the relevant categories are highlighted. On the back of each card is a 16-point grading rubric. Students can use this as a guide as they complete their project, and parents/teachers can use it to assess their student's work. The cards vary in complexity and have both individual and group/partner activities centered on the elements of non-fiction such as setting, theme and tone. A small guide for using the cards and a short explanation of the MI and Bloom categories are included. Here is an example: Plot or Setting Map – Is there a location in your book that is important to the people in it? Do the people in your book travel somewhere or go on a journey? Create a map of a journey or location that is important in your book. Look at similar maps for ideas, and then create your map. The highlighted MIs for this card are logical/mathematical and visual/spatial. The Bloom levels are remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, and creating. ~ Sara

  • Item #: 001932
    ISBN: 9780876593875
    Retail: $14.95
    Rainbow Price: $7.55

    Science is all around and should be fun for children. The idea of a book and pencil would be shear drudgery for young ones, but this book combines their love for children's books and natural questioning spirits to create a memorable science experience.

    Fifty different activity suggestions in four different areas of science – building, growing, outdoors (wind, rain, shadows), and animals & insects – introduce concepts in the simplest of terms for young learners. Pick out books from your local library to read together, and then explore the topic in a hands-on fashion. The content of this book is flexible and can be taught in any order and you aren't limited to using one specific children's book per lesson. The author offers a list of three books for each lesson and you can read just one of them or all of them. Short summaries are provided at the back of the book to help you know if the books are ones that you would like to read to your children. Read "From Seed to Plant", "How a Seed Grows" or "One Bean" to introduce children to the idea of germination and growing conditions. Then sprout your own seeds in a number of ways to see which works best. Look at the seeds with a magnifier and talk about the questions suggested in the book. You will also find facts about each topic listed within the lesson.

    You don't need a strict, regimented curriculum for science when children are young. This book is the first in a wonderful science series that could take you through your early science years in a more age-appropriate format. Have some fun and read some good books while learning about the world of science around you.

  • Item #: 016153
    Retail: $120.00
    Rainbow Price: $118.95

    The Elementary Chemistry & Physics by Apologia uses very specific items in their labs; this kit is a great convenience to complete those labs. Bagged and labeled by lesson, the kit includes: 25ml plastic cylinder, table salt, plastic straw, turkey baster, die, bead, ping pong ball, small block of wood, cork, aluminum foil, Neodymium magnet, effervescent tablet, popcorn kernel, rubbing alcohol, flavored gelatin, wax paper, needle, pint and gallon size bags, gum, balloon, Epsom salt, Pop Rocks Candy, small paper plates, paper plate, Nerds candy, yeast, gloves, Peanut M&Ms, peroxide, borax, cornstarch, spoon, rubber band, string, bamboo skewers, Styrofoam cups, red & blue litmus paper, Mentos, steel wool, cardboard tube, thread, sugar, candle wick, thermometers, vinegar, alum, potassium nitrate, cotton swab, coffee filter, white sand, sand, dish soap, chalk, stopwatch, marbles, index card, pie pan, modeling clay, toothpick, washer, baking soda, funnel, black powder paint, Cheerios, dominoes, mirrors, prisms, bouncing ball, adhesive putty, colored cellophane pack, PVC elbows and pipe, small nail, film canister, rubbing alcohol, cooking oil, small paper cups, sandpaper, cardboard, electrical tape, 6-volt battery, insulated copper wire, small light bulbs, light bulb holders, large paper clips, paper fasteners, d-cell battery, Wint-O-Green Lifesaver, pepper packet, LED bulb, needle, bar magnet, horseshoe magnet, iron filings, compass, AA battery, lid for water bottle, bare copper wire, round magnets, 3" iron nail, paper clips pack, small board, rope, and plastic tubing. Some items used in the labs are too large to be bagged with the lesson and are found loose in the kit. Those items are marked with an asterisk on the packing list that is included. You will still need to gather some items from around your home, but this kit really takes a lot of the effort out of it. ~ Donna

  • Item #: 052030
    ISBN: 9781606894101
    Retail: $3.49
    Rainbow Price: $2.75

    Having a chart like this in your learning center is not cheating for kids. Think of it as a learning poster. They will refer to it often as they are learning fractions and decimals and eventually will memorize it without even trying. Classroom aids like this are helpful to visual learners because they will "see" this chart in their minds when they think of decimals and percents in the future. This graph gives you a fraction, and then tells you eleven equivalent fractions, followed by the percent and the decimal forms. Bright yellow and red at the top with a blue border make this graph attractive to young learners. The numbers alternate gray and white for easy reading. This is a useful learning tool. ~ Sara

  • Item #: 047955
    Retail: $14.99
    Rainbow Price: $12.50

    Even young players can start identifying animal tracks with this fun game! Animal Tracks! includes 40 animal track cards and 40 animal cards. The track cards include a black print of the animal track, the animal's name, and the typical size of the track. Animal cards feature a full-color photo of the animal and its name. Directions for three games are printed inside the box lid (Yay! No papers to lose!); Concentration, Bingo, or "Guess the Tracks." If you're studying animals and/or tracking in your science curriculum, these would make nice thick flashcards as well. Any way you use them, players are sure to gain familiarity with the shape of the animal tracks and the animals that make them, while having some fun too! – Jess

  • Item #: 008480
    Retail: $17.95
    Rainbow Price: $15.25

    Many animals roam the forest looking for food. With this forest food-chain game, learn which animals eat other animals or just what plants they eat. Meanwhile, try to build up your stack of cards. How? By picking up your card, looking at the animal on your card, and trying to "consume" your opponent's card. But watch out! Even if the grizzly doesn't get you—death and decay might! Fun and learning rolled into one with several versions of play. For 2-6 players. Includes full-color illustrations and scorecard.

  • Item #: 067906
    ISBN: 9780794536701
    Retail: $12.99
    Rainbow Price: $12.34

     This introductory reference guide will appeal to your pictorial learner. First, you’ll get a good beginning grammar overview (parts of speech--including noun and verb phrases, active/passive voice, clauses, conjunctions, direct speech, and confusing words). Parts of speech are identified with text, arrows and colors, though inconsistently applied (Nouns are not always green, for example). Explanations are brief and accented with graphs and cartoon drawings. The second section covers punctuation (periods, commas, question and quotation marks, apostrophes, and those funky and elusive parentheses, dashes, hyphens and ellipses). Finally, get a thumbnail introduction to style (basic genres, sentence- and paragraph level improvements). The book includes a glossary, quiz, and index. Also, access to Quicklinks provides grammar, punctuation and spelling games, quizzes and puzzles. An attention-grabbing way to introduce or remind students of grammar skills. 136 pgs, reinforced sc. ~ Ruth

  • Item #: 048424
    Retail: $80.00
    Rainbow Price: $78.95

    This lab kit from Nature's Workshop Plus is designed to accompany Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science and includes many of the harder to find items you need to complete the labs found in the text (sold separately). For ease and convenience, items are packaged according to the lessons.

    Kit contains: safety goggles, vegetable oil, corn syrup, piece of cork, blue food coloring, balloons, baking soda, funnel, pencil, sheets of paper, thumbtacks, yarn, cardboard, cardstock, paper clip, flashlight w/ batteries, spoons, table salt, scissors, facial tissue, soap bar, chewing gum, black pepper, tweezers, toilet paper, wooden ruler, bamboo skewers, alum, cotton string, washers, black construction paper, magnifying glass, sand, plaster of Paris, bowls, lima beans, paper towels, limestone rock, steel wool, foil baking pan, small shovel, modeling clay, paper plate, petroleum jelly, seashells, index cards, pipe cleaners, colored beads, rubbing alcohol, iodine, masking tape, nylon stocking, rubber bands, chicken bouillon cube, pen, crayon, yeast, plastic bags, butter knife, plastic bandage, tealight candle, vinegar, matches, mirror, straws, oral thermometers, saltine cracker, antacid tablets, stopwatch, flexible tubing, red food coloring, tea bag, coffee filter, practice golf ball, toothpicks, blindfold, and printouts.

    There are still a number of items you will need to gather from around your home, but the list will be much shorter if you use this assembled kit which will save you time, money, and gas by putting supplies at your finger tips. ~ Donna

  • 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 #: 050299
    ISBN: 9781450785082
    Retail: $69.95
    Rainbow Price: $48.95

    This course is for your visual learners who need high school credit in Chemistry. Wes Olson, the host of Biology 101, will take you on a journey through the history of chemistry along with what the study of chemistry is all about. This course is divided into nineteen 20-45 minute segments and examines the world of chemistry, the periodic table, important characters in the field of chemistry, the essentials of chemistry such as neutrons, isotopes, ions, compounds, molecules, and balancing chemical equations, an explanation of the elements – non-metals, poor metals, transition metals, rare earth & radioactive metals, and the future of chemistry. This is a 4 DVD set that has a running time of 10 hours, 55 minutes along with PDF files for the guidebook, accreditation booklet, and an extended periodic table.

    To get started with this program, you will want to print off the PDF files for the guidebook, periodic table and accreditation schedule, or take them somewhere to have them printed (the guidebook is over 120 pages). Students will be starting a chemistry notebook for this program in which they will write their research and reports. You will want to read ahead in the guidebook so you can gather and prepare needed items for the next lesson, mini-labs, and reports. The guidebook also allows the student to review information covered in the lessons along with quizzes and discussions questions. Mini-labs are demonstrated in the lessons and are performed with items from around your house or are easily accessible. I think the labs are much better and meatier than those found in Biology 101 and would do a much better job of meeting the high school credit. ~ Donna

  • Item #: 020028
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $144.95

    Chemistry labs can be scary and overwhelming, especially if you don't have a curriculum that lays them out for you. It can be expensive to buy the equipment and many of the chemicals are restricted and difficult to obtain.

    MicroChem Experiment Lab is a kit that takes away some of the pressure and expense of those high school chemistry labs. This kit includes scaled-down amounts of chemicals (about 1/100th the usual amount) and is enough to do experiments about 5 times. By scaling back on the chemicals and using plastic equipment (where possible) the cost is controlled a bit and there is less of a problem with chemical disposal at the end of the course. Chemicals come in dropping' bottles, so they are ready for use. No mixing and less spilling is a definite benefit to this kit. Experiments may cause for a drop' or drops' of a chemical, so the special bottles are great for dispensation.

    The kit includes a 119-page manual that contains introductory information, how to use it, and safety information. The manual includes experiments and instruction for each goals, materials/equipment needed, background information, and step-by-step procedures. Suggested answers are given for questions in each experiment, and solutions to experiments are included at the back of the manual. If you are already using a curriculum and just need labs, an included chart shows correlation to A Beka Chemistry, 2nd ed.; ACE Chemistry, 1996 ed.; Alpha Omega Publications, grade 11 Chemistry; Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry; Bob Jones Chemistry, 3rd ed.; Glencoe Science, Chemistry: Matter and Change; and Prentice Hall, Chemistry. If you are using a different curriculum and just need the labs, just match the labs up to the concept you are studying for a lab companion. This kit isn't a complete chemistry curriculum, so you should be using a course text for explanations; there is also an assumption that students using this kit have knowledge of Algebra.

    There is a lengthy list of items included in the kit. Call our customer service if interested in the complete list; however, the chemicals included are acetic acid, bromophenol blue indicator, calcium nitrate, copper nitrate, glycerin, hydrochloric acid, lead nitrate, nickel nitrate, phenolphthalein indicator paper, potassium hydroxide, potassium iodide, sodium acetate, sodium hydroxide, sodium oxalate, sodium sulfate, sodium thiosulfate, universal indicator paper, zinc nitrate, magnesium sulfate, potassium hydrogen phthalate, cetyl alcohol, and palmitic acid liquids are in 0.1M dropping bottles.

    As with all kits, there is always a list of items you will need to supply. Most are household items black paper, books, felt-tip pens, water soluble ink, distilled water, food coloring, graph paper, ice, matches, natural indicators, paper towels, clear tape, printed paper, scissors, shallow pan, table salt, stapler, source of heat (microwave, stove, etc.), stopwatch or watch with a second hand, table sugar, vinegar, and white paper. Another item mentioned in the experiments is a voltmeter, which you would need to provide. You can either skip those labs or a voltmeter can be purchased at a minimal cost.

    These are real chemistry labs intended for the college-prep level of learning and can be used to really beef-up your high school chemistry course. ~ Donna

    Supplies included in this kit: instruction manual, 9-volt battery, 15mL, 30mL, 150mL plastic beakers, 50mL glass beaker, Capillary tubes, Chromatography paper, Conductivity apparatus, Cotton swabs, Electrolysis device, Felt-tip pen with black, water-soluble ink, 10mL plastic, graduated cylinder, 1.0mL measuring spoon, Graduated, mini, and thin stem pipettes, Plastic toothpicks, 96-well reaction plate, 24-well reaction plate, Rubber bands, 15 cm ruler, Safety goggles, Fine sandpaper, Spring clamp, 6x50 mm test tubes, 12x75 mm test tubes, Celsius thermometer (-10° to 102°C), Washing bottle, Wire gauze, Wood splints, Lab Manual, Acetic acid, Calcium nitrate, Copper nitrate, Hydrochloric acid, Lead nitrate, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium iodide, Sodium acetate, Sodium hydroxide, Sodium oxalate, Sodium sulfate, Sodium thiosulfate, Zinc nitrate, Magnesium sulfate, Potassium hydrogen phthalate, Cetyl alcohol, Palmitic acid, Bromophenol blue indicator, Glycerin, Phenolphthalein indicator paper, Universal indicator paper, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Zinc. – all solutions are in 0.1M bottles.

    1CHOKING HAZARD (1, 4). Not <3yrs.

  • Item #: 062175
    Retail: $43.95
    Rainbow Price: $31.95

    Are you into robotics, but don't just want another nameless, bumbling, human-shaped thing? Perhaps you crave something that mimics nature's many wonders… like a Frilled Lizard robot. Well, amazingly, you've found that exact thing! Once assembled, this interactive robot can be set on two modes: "defense mode" and "pet mode". When set to "defense mode" this little guy will detect threats and respond accordingly by backing away, opening its mouth, puffing its frill, and running! On "pet mode" this reptile companion is a bit friendlier, albeit still cautious. It will still display its frill when feeling threatened, but when it feels safe it will follow you around adoringly. Although the recommended age range is 10 and up, it is worth noting that assembly is somewhat complex and requires time, patience, and vigilance. Instructions are diagrammed pictures, so little reading is required. However, there are some recommended tools not included. These are a diagonal cutter, a Phillips head screwdriver, a knife, and a hammer. In addition, the robot requires four AAA batteries (not included). The perfect gift for a robotics/model lover, a reptile lover, or someone looking to entertain their cats! Winner of Creative Child and Dr. Toy Awards in 2015.

  • 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 #: 019074
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $84.95

    The corresponding lab kit from Nature's Workshop makes finding those "household items" even more convenient. Containing most of the more difficult items to find, this kit saves you time, allowing you more time to enjoy science with your children. You still need to provide various food items (eggs, celery, soda, etc.), binoculars and a few other household items.

    Kit includes a 9 Volt Battery, aluminum foil, assorted nuts, various colors of construction paper, balloons of various sizes, black marker, trash bags, thin white box, candle, candle holder, cereal, clay-dough, straws, compact disc (CD), cooking oil, cork, cotton ball, crayons, D-Cell batteries, deep plastic bowls, digital thermometer, dish soap, duct tape, Epsom soap, feathers, flashlights, flavored gelatin, fluorescent light bulb, food coloring, forceps (tweezers), glass jars and lids, index card, iodine, foil baking pan, plastic bottles and lid, lima beans, magnifier, measuring cups and spoons, mirror, modeling clay, notebook, mentos, newspaper page, paper clip, paper cups, paper towels, pen, pencil, pepper, peppercorns, plastic cling wrap, plastic plates, plastic water bottles, rubbing alcohol, ruler, safety goggles, saltine crackers, scissors, paper plates, poly funnel, small shovel, spoons, straight pin, Styrofoam cups, sugar, sunscreen, table salt, tape, tea bag, toilet paper, toothpicks, turkey baster, umbrella, vanilla, vinegar, white cotton string, white paper, wood block, wooden matches and Ziploc bags. ~Deanne

  • 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 #: 068042
    ISBN: 9781414372624
    Retail: $15.99
    Rainbow Price: $11.75

     

      Do you desire to be your very best? Are you overwhelmed by daily tasks? Maybe your husband wakes you early, madly searching for clean socks? So focused on a to-dos list you battle finding time with God or your family? If any of these describe you, this book will challenge, equip and nourish you through focused Bible study and a 31-day, plan-filled practical homemaking suggestions. Each day provides a quick 2-3-page encouraging and reflective reading that presents a vision for becoming a gentle home-maker. Following this short read are 2 challenges: the Mary and Martha. The Mary challenge draws you into the heart of God through short Scripture readings and reflective questions. Martha Challenges may initially have more impact on those non natural-born organizers, but even “Martha’s” will discover helpful tips to open up more family time. Become the mother, wife and homemaker you were destined to become in this grace-filled book. For individual or women’s Bible study. 229 pgs, pb. ~ Deanne

  • Item #: 057574
    Retail: $5.99
    Rainbow Price: $3.61

    Looking for a fun way to practice word patterns? Six cubes look like big dice (1.5") and come in 3 pairs: red, green & blue. In each pair, one cube has 6 word beginnings and one has 6 word endings. The cubes are made of hard foam, so they are quiet to play. Take turns rolling a pair of cubes and making a word! There is a list of over 150 word options included. Once the kids get more confident, you can mix the colors and ask them if the result is a real word or not! Cubes are washable and come in a resealable bag. Come up with some games on your own, like having kids list the words they make and seeing who gets more words written in one minute. Make it a race on a whiteboard in class! Your hands-on learners will appreciate the feel of these solid but soft learning cubes. ~ Sara

  • 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 #: 011113
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $12.50

    Includes everything you need to find your blood type: an Eldon card, alcohol prep pad, blood lancet, plastic syringe, special comb, and an instruction and quiz pamphlet.

  • Item #: 009095
    ISBN: 9781932012835
    Retail: $29.00
    Rainbow Price: $23.50
    A complete audio recording of the Physical Science text and "on your own" problems, as read by Michael A. Wilson. This is a suitable accompaniment to the books for auditory learners, slow readers, and those with other reading difficulties. The study guides, tests, and answers are not included on this CD, which is in MP3 format requiring an MP3-compatible CD player.
  • 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