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  • Item #: 039235
    ISBN: 9780980072303
    Retail: $15.00
    Rainbow Price: $12.56

    It's easy to become a cookbook collector. The glossy photos of scrumptious meals draw you in regardless of whether the recipes are easy or the ingredients are easy to find! Our intentions are good, but somehow we just can't get around to pulling together an incredible meal every night. Well, cookbook author Rachel Masters takes a much more practical approach, almost guaranteeing that this is one cookbook that will spend more time on the countertop than on the shelf. As a mom with young children, she was frustrated with the time it was taking to develop a meal plan and grocery list for the week. To make this easier, she created a plan that rotated through all of the main dishes her family enjoyed, along with shopping lists to accompany them. In the end she had a twelve-week plan, each week complete with five main dishes, a dessert, a snack, and a shopping list. After using her plan with much success over the years, she now presents it to the rest of us in handy cookbook form. The cookbook presents thirteen weeks, each with a meal plan for the week, a grocery list (divided into types of food like produce, dairy, etc.), and the recipes. Each week features five meals, a snack, and a dessert. Weeks are broken down by meal, with each meal including recipes for the main course as well as side dishes. As a bonus, Rachel has included a suggested timetable for each meal, outlining when each task preparation task should be done for a six o'clock target dinner time. At this point, you may be mostly concerned about the meals themselves. Will your family like them? Glancing over the meal plans, I'd say they have broad appeal (remember, the author has several young children herself!). A sampling of the meals includes: chicken fajitas, beef stew, lasagna, shepherd's pie, pork chops, sloppy joes, french dip sandwiches, ribs, chicken over rice, sub sandwiches, split pea soup, ham and cheese sandwiches, pork tenderloin, and many more scrumptious-sounding side dishes I don't have room to mention. You won't find anything too specialized in here, just family-pleasing favorites. Of course, if everyone in your family dislikes a certain recipe, just replace it with one of your own and edit the shopping list to include those ingredients.

    Additionally, seven appendices include suggestions for breakfasts and lunches, using produce from your garden, recipes for special events and holidays, essentials for the kitchen, tips and ideas, making a few typically store-bought items from scratch, and some advice on family meal time (including suggestions to get children to try new things!). All in all, this is a great, practical resource for any busy mom struggling to shop and pull together meals each week! I know our family could have benefited from this approach when I was growing up! – Jess

  • Item #: 045857
    ISBN: 9780983099666
    Retail: $15.95
    Rainbow Price: $15.75

    We had a customer request for this book. The first reviewer in our office after spending a little time with the book suggested that it was a new approach to homeschooling – somewhere between classical and the principle approach. Another remarked (without a close look at the book) that she thought it was associated with unschooling. Actually, both observations have merit. Sometimes called Leadership Education, the goals of an education styled after that of Thomas Jefferson seeks to teach its students how to think and prepare them to be leaders in their home and communities, entrepreneurs in business, and statesmen in government.

    The author describes four phases of learning: Core Phase (years 0-8) when learning is the product of the structure and flow of family life providing a rich learning environment and a culture of self-education. Love of Learning Phase (ages 8-12) requires exposure to many areas of human knowledge, high standards of quality, and areas of exploration and skill-building. Scholar Phase (ages 12-16) when the student is ready to apply a new level of effort to personal academic achievement through the process of commitment and accountability and is exposed to a variety of options in materials and classic works. Depth Phase (ages 16-22) marked by a profound hunger to prepare for oncoming responsibility and future contribution to society.

    In America today we have three types of education – conveyor belt (move everyone along on the same track teaching them what to think), professional (prepare for a particular career teaching them when to think), and leadership education (prepare to lead teaching them how to think). The first two are based on the myth that it is possible for one human being to educate another. But author Oliver DeMille says “No!” Teachers teach and students educate (themselves). And a Thomas Jefferson Education is all about students becoming excited about learning and applying themselves to their own education. The means by which this is accomplished? Mentors and Classics – the two types of teachers that consistently motivate student-driven education. Mentors inspire through the transfer of knowledge, the force of their personality, and individual attention. The Classics were created by other great teachers to be the experiences of life found in books, art, music, and other media. DeMille goes on to describe characteristics of the mentoring relationship, how to teach using the Classics, and the learning environments conducive to successful mentoring. Other chapters include how to implement a TJEd in the public schools and in colleges, a look at leadership careers, and how statesmanship can make a difference in our society. He concludes the book with some excellent appendices – 100 Classics, Classics for Children & Youth, Sample Discussion Questions (covering 26 Classics), a recommended reading list, and a section called "Putting Thomas Jefferson to Work", which features step-by-step instructions for integrating the Thomas Jefferson Education into your family's life. 198 pgs, pb. Janice

  • Item #: 039229
    Retail: $64.99
    Rainbow Price: $57.95

    From one homeschool mom to another. Everything in this program is designed to communicate "I'm a homeschool mom that taught my kids to read. It's easy. It's fun! You can do it, too. Have a great time." And I'm sure if you follow Diane Hopkins' step by step approach wrapped with loving teacher-student interaction, that's exactly the result you'll get. After going through the just-the-right-size (25 pages) Teacher's Guidebook and looking through the brightly colored cardstock that makes up the program, I'm happy with the appearance of the product and really, really impressed with the content.

    Starting at the very beginning, Mrs. Hopkins has boiled the entire process down into eight steps. And even if step seven (teach phonics units containing two or more letters) has seventeen parts, she's still managed to make a homeschool mom's most fearful task into something that seems remarkably ordinary and doable.

    The package contains the Happy Phonics Guidebook, "My Big Book" (an almost-to-the-end-of-the-program-reader) and lots of printed, brightly colored paper and cardstock – flashcards, game components, first little readers and spelling lists. The Guidebook contains the Eight Steps along with specific how-to instructions for each step. The essence of the program is to introduce the phonics concepts a few at a time and then play games for retention. The author suggests that lesson time be about 10 minutes a day, but you may want to factor in more time to play the games over and over just because the student wants to.

    The Guidebook is extremely user-friendly and written in first-person, mom-to-mom form. The step-by-step instructions are straight-forward and easy to follow. All references to the games and other supplementary material are coded with little symbols found on the colored sheets. Practically foolproof! But just to be sure, there's a chart that lists which games/components are used with each teaching step. There's also a chart clearly laying out those seventeen phonics units that make up step seven. And, of course, the teaching aids are clearly marked for each unit.

    The teaching progression is common sense. Alphabet song; capital letters match lowercase letters; the main sound for each letter; blend letter sounds to form a word; teach common non-phonetic (sight) words; teach vowels that can make a second sound; teach through the phonic units; READ. Although she doesn't consider them absolutely necessary, the author does mention supplementary material that she likes and that her children have enjoyed – Lauri perception puzzles, Leap Frog Phonics Library, and the Explode the Code books. In fact, she changed her original letter presentation order (used with her older children) to conform to the Explode the Code books for her younger children and in this program. She also suggests various supplementary readers.

    The games and other reinforcement activities are obviously a central component of this program. Some preparation is involved, usually just cutting cards apart. I would be inclined to laminate (or cover with clear contact paper) some of the frequently-used cards and game layouts if I thought it likely I'd be using the program with a number of children. The games include some adapted favorites like Phonics Bingo and a number of creative originals like the Y Not? Game. The line art of the game components is not high tech graphics but still communicates the concept and looks inviting. Components of the games are color coded, with the little symbols marked on each game piece, so that you can easily unscramble things if they don't always get put away neatly.

    This program fits into the "complete program" category of phonics instruction, as it includes systematic phonics, reinforcement, and reading practice. The program gets your student reading on his own in an enjoyable way. Please note that it does not cover advanced syllabication, prefixes, and suffixes that tend to be found in second/third grade levels of some phonics programs. But it is an enjoyable program that will build the confidence of a newbie and provide ease of instruction for busy homeschooling mothers. All for a very reasonable price! - Janice

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Item #: 044070
    ISBN: 9780756637477
    Retail: $12.99
    Rainbow Price: $9.50

    This older cousin of the Funny Phonics game achieves the same standard of replay-ability and motivating fun in practice, only with the goal of learning parts of speech. Up to four sentence constructors can play. Durable game board, double-sided player boards and cards offset the somewhat flimsy 12-sided cardstock die (that you may need to reinforce with tape!). Strategy, chance, and changing outcomes keep game play exciting. There are two levels of play. The shorter version, for younger readers, requires them to make only two, six-word sentences using four parts of speech: nouns, adjectives, articles, and verbs. If you are playing with even younger children, you can play with just nouns, adjectives, and verbs (by folding the player boards differently). The longer version requires two complete sentences, each using 2 adjectives, 2 nouns, a verb, article, and preposition. The 136 word and picture cards are color-coded by function and stacked in piles by color on the game board. Players move around the board depending on rolls of the die and/or instructions on the game board, collecting part of speech cards. If they're lucky, they'll roll or land on a space that lets them choose "Any Card", giving them an edge in completing sentences (more quickly and sillier). Word cards must be read (most are simple words and sight words) to be won. Sentences are constructed from collected cards by placing them on the correctly labeled (noun, verb, etc.) squares on player boards. The winner is the first person to make two silly sentences and read them aloud. Depending upon the reading level of your children, you may control the type (word or picture) of card used or its difficulty – or even use two separate decks for differing reading abilities among players (You can always expand play, too, by making some of your own cards to use with the game). It's a great little game for practicing sentence construction and parts of speech in an entertaining context.

  • Item #: 028847
    ISBN: 9781616340261
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $24.95

    Based on the principles of Charlotte Mason, a British educator during the late 1800s, this spelling series gives guidance to families seeking to "teach as Charlotte did". Miss Mason firmly believed that education should influence the whole child and not just fill a brain with useless information (twaddle). One of the greatest gifts she gave to the education community was the focus on living books - books written by someone with a passion for a subject and not just someone seeking to teach for the passing of a test. She believed greatly written books could be the foundation of all learning. In her writings, she describes, "prepared dictation to teach spelling" which is the foundation of this new series. You may be wondering how prepared dictation works. In this approach, children are provided a passage to study before being required to write from memory—the chief object being for a child to become familiar enough with the words that he can "take in (a photographic sense) a detailed picture of the word(s)". After reviewing the passage, the child studies it for several days, with an intent focus on the words he does not feel competent spelling. When the child feels confident to spell each word correctly, the teacher will dictate the passage, one phrase at a time, monitoring for errors. If errors are noticed during the exercise, the teacher is directed to cover the incorrect spelling to prevent the misspelling from becoming engraved in a child's mind. This process of study and dictation will vary but should generally take less than a couple days to one week for each passage. Sound complicated? It may feel that way initially, especially if your only exposure to spelling has been through endless word lists. Thankfully, Mrs. Shafer does an excellent job of presenting the Charlotte Mason philosophy as it applies to spelling along with word study tips and detailed instructions for the dictation experience. Not only has she presented the background information equipping you to teach spelling in this manner, she has also provided an exceptional collection of writings. Included within these pages are speeches, letters and quotations from famous people; poetry, Scripture (KJV), excerpts from great literature and other varied selections. An extensive index and bibliography are included. Each book contains 140 exercises, which means each book may last just under two years and allow you to work at your child's own pace. Books incorporate more than 12,500 words, including 6,000 of the most frequently used words in the English language, The five books' exercises are progressively longer and more difficult. For example Exercise 1 in Book 1 is a quote from Charlotte Mason-"I am; I can; I ought; I will." The exercise in book 1 is a five-stanza selection of '"What the Wind Brings."

    You may notice that this series does not begin until grade 3. Miss Mason firmly believed that spelling was unnecessary before the late elementary years, giving children the opportunity to familiarize themselves with written language before embracing the task of spelling well. Available individually or as a set. Spiral Bound. ~Deanne

  • Item #: 012535
    Retail: $24.99
    Rainbow Price: $19.99

    There must be a universal desire in all children to create music with rhythm instruments. If they don't have real instruments, kids will make their own from boxes, rubber bands, cardboard tubes, wooden spoons, pan lids, or whatever they can find! More substantial than homemade instruments, Band in a Box is guaranteed to bring hours of entertainment to your aspiring musician. A great value, this set includes a small tambourine, rhythm sticks, ÿtriangle & striker, "clacker," mini cymbals, and a pair of brightly striped maracas. All this comes neatly packaged in a hand crafted wooden carrying case. Pieces are constructed of metal and solid wood to withstand years of "music." ~ Rachel

  • Item #: 031394
    Retail: $16.99
    Rainbow Price: $14.95

    I had an early interest in houses and architecture, and now I still love good design and creative interiors. I would have loved the stencils in this set, and may have saved some heavy lifting if I had used them to plan my bedroom rearranging instead of winging it! Students are first introduced to several periods in architectural design in a brief & colorful, kid-friendly booklet (16 pp). Classical, Romanesque, gothic, renaissance, baroque, Georgian, neoclassical, beaux arts, Bauhaus, art deco, expressionism, deconstructivism, structural expressionism and critical regionalism all have a short blurb and an illustration of a famous building in that style. You then look at structural elements and a timeline before you are encouraged to have a go at an original design. In the kit is a color poster of all of these famous buildings, great for a quick reference as you are in design-mode! A set of 6 stencils are guides for your student. They are made of sturdy, flexible, clear plastic and have elements like turrets, windows, domes, ornamental doors & ornaments for the outside, plus interior stuff like furniture, closets and sinks. A set of 8 colored pencils and a tablet of graph paper get your kiddos started. They can then make a large exterior and a large interior on the poster-sized paper in the kit. Two sheets of patterned paper have 6 designs of wood-look floors, tile & fabric textures to add some flair. While small children would have some trouble using the stencils, they can still design an interior and exterior in their own style. This would be a fun addition to any study in history or architecture, art or design. It has enough guidance to get you started and enough openness to let you be creative. ~ Sara

  • Item #: 053990
    Retail: $49.99
    Rainbow Price: $44.99

    This intriguing game is designed around several unique factors. First of all, each player begins with a different board featuring one of the Seven Ancient Wonders – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Great Pyramid of Giza, etc. The boards share similar features although each one maintains its own distinctive characteristics. On each board are coins, points, 2-3 benefits, as well as one resource it produces. There are three rounds in the game, referred to as ages. Each age has its own deck of cards, and at the beginning of an age players are dealt seven cards. They pick a card to play and then pass the remaining cards to their neighbor, strategically choosing cards from each hand that will benefit them the most. There are seven different types of cards, including resource cards, which are needed to buy most of the other cards; point cards, which give no benefit other than victory points; military cards, which each player assembles to "fight" against their neighbors for additional points; and guild cards, which appear only in the last age and are generally worth a lot of points. In the first age, the cards are cheap to buy and players will build up their resources and lay the foundation for the game. By the third age the cards are fairly expensive and it's crucial to make the best decisions regarding which cards you build, and which ones you allow to be passed on to your neighbors! At the end of the third age, players tally their points in each category and add them together to reveal who got the most victory points to win the game. With a lot of variation between games due to the differing boards, randomness of the card decks, broad variety of strategies that can win the game, and even the difference made by the strategy of whoever you happen to be sitting by, this one offers a lot of re-playability. 2-7 players.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Item #: 041921
    ISBN: 9780979505102
    Retail: $21.95
    Rainbow Price: $19.95

    Subtitled "Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age," I could see this book serving as a great introduction to Latin for the family who is not sure they want to jump right into a full-fledged Latin course. Of course, it would be just as useful for an older student (or even Mom and Dad), if they have never studied Latin but want to learn it on their own. The course was designed out of necessity by author William E. Linney, after he was asked by a relative to teach Latin to her children. He set out looking for a course that would not require a Latin teacher, was self-paced, self explanatory, offered lots of practice exercises, was non-threatening, and inexpensive. When he couldn't find a course that suited his needs, he designed this one. The book contains 134 lessons, which are short (usually less than a page in length), un-fluffy, and incremental in progression. Lessons strike a nice balance between introducing new vocabulary, explaining simple grammatical concepts, and memorization of noun and verb forms. No lesson covers all of these tasks, but instead focuses on one objective and covers it well. Lessons that introduce new Latin vocabulary feature a new Latin word, its English meaning, and sometimes a pronunciation tip. This is usually followed by about ten sentences to translate. Lessons on grammar are also bite-sized, and different forms and cases are introduced gradually. As they are introduced, they are added to a chart, and students will translate sentences that use the forms and cases that they have learned. As charts are filled with endings or forms, students may be asked to memorize them, to aid in future lessons. Just for fun, "Latin Expressions" are scattered throughout the book. In each one, the author takes a common Latin phrase like "caveat emptor," or "etc." and explains the Latin history behind each phrase. Don't underestimate how these little "sparks" of knowledge whet your appetite to learn more! By the end of the book, students will have stockpiled basic vocabulary of around 100 words, be comfortable translating simple sentences in Latin, and have a grasp of basic Latin grammar.

    There are a couple of aspects of this course worth noting. First of all, because the book is more of a text than a worktext it is not designed to be consumable. For translation purposes, the author recommends translating the sentences in a separate notebook. If extra practice is desired, you may wish to translate the sentences back to the form given in the lesson. Secondly, while we all realize that pronunciation is very difficult to teach "out of a book", the author has considered this, and has come up with an ingenious solution. He has provided MP3 audio files free of charge on his website, which can be downloaded and used with the lessons. As an added bonus, you can choose from either classical pronunciation or ecclesiastical pronunciation. Audio commentary on the lessons and a host of other helpful resources is also included on the website. Lastly, this course would be excellent prep for an older student who will be studying Latin in high school or college who hasn't had the benefit of laying a basic Latin foundation earlier in life. Upon completion of this book, I think students would be more ready to tackle Lingua Latina, Oxford University Latin, Henle Latin, or Cambridge Latin, than if they were starting off cold. Latina Christiana I or other complete courses designed for younger students could also be considered reasonable continuations, although there would be much more overlap/review between courses. This is a terrific way to get started in Latin and I am glad that the author did not find what he was looking for to teach Latin, because he has certainly written a course that fulfills all of his goals! – Jess

  • Item #: 032392
    ISBN: 9780982537725
    Retail: $21.95
    Rainbow Price: $21.50

    I think it takes a rare person to try to present basic chemistry at a level that an upper-elementary or middle-school student can understand, but ORGANIC chemistry? Normally, you only really scratch the surface of organic chemistry in high school, and if you go into a science-related field in college, then you're really hit with it. So, before I even cracked the cover, I was very impressed with Ellen McHenry's follow-up to her first chemistry program, The Elements. And parents, even if you never took organic chemistry, it's not as complicated as it sounds, and I'll bet you'll be drawn in as you learn along with the kids! It sounds advanced and frightening, but organic chemistry is really just an intersection of chemistry and biology, and learning the chemistry and formation of things like fats, proteins and carbohydrates can be fascinating. When you understand how molecules and substances act in your body, it can put a whole new aspect on the boring old chemistry you thought you knew!

    Eleven chapters cover a broad range of organic chemistry topics, including carbon; alkane hydrocarbons; "-enes" and "-ynes" (including alkenes, alkynes, benzene, etc.); functional groups and their combinations (carboxylic acids, adehydes, esters, and esters); plastics, rubber and silicones; carbohydrates; fats; proteins; carbon oxides and the carbon cycle. Sounds intimidating, I know, but her low-stress, straight-forward approach to these topics makes them understandable to just about anybody. The overall layout is similar to that of The Elements, with each chapter containing informational text interspersed with helpful diagrams and the ever-present, cute thumbprint guys, who have a comment for just about everything. At the end of each chapter you'll find a page of comprehension questions, which review the material covered in the chapter, and a list of research questions on topics which are related, but not covered in depth in the chapter. These are questions that the student will have to research on-line or in reference books. Thankfully for you, answers to both types of questions are found in the answer key. The student pages may be copied for your own use, which is great if you are planning on using the program with multiple children, and would also be a great tool for students making their own chemistry notebook. An appendix includes more hands-on activities for each chapter, and any reproducibles that are required for those activities. While some activities involve building molecules from different manipulatives, others are more "outside the box" and involve having a "burning contest" using different flammable objects, taking a virtual tour of a coal mine, making marbled paper (using alkanes!), dying eggs (to study the effects of acetic acid), sorting plastic using chemical analysis, and much more! I can't help thinking that college chemistry could have been so much more fun if we would have been able to do activities like this instead of drawing molecule after molecule! If you enjoyed The Elements, or have completed another basic chemistry program and would love to take your study of chemistry further, I definitely recommend continuing with this. If you would like to use this with children a bit older or younger than the recommended age range, the author has provided some advice on adjusting the material to fit those needs as well. On a final note, I want to add that even children that don't ordinarily enjoy chemistry, or found basic chemistry so-so, may be absolutely fascinated by organic chemistry. 164 pages, paperback. The CD which was formerly included with this course has been replaced by downloadable files on the publisher's website, which are referenced in select activities throughout the book. - Jess

  • Item #: 028857
    ISBN: 9781616340278
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $24.95

    Based on the principles of Charlotte Mason, a British educator during the late 1800s, this spelling series gives guidance to families seeking to "teach as Charlotte did". Miss Mason firmly believed that education should influence the whole child and not just fill a brain with useless information (twaddle). One of the greatest gifts she gave to the education community was the focus on living books - books written by someone with a passion for a subject and not just someone seeking to teach for the passing of a test. She believed greatly written books could be the foundation of all learning. In her writings, she describes, "prepared dictation to teach spelling" which is the foundation of this new series. You may be wondering how prepared dictation works. In this approach, children are provided a passage to study before being required to write from memory—the chief object being for a child to become familiar enough with the words that he can "take in (a photographic sense) a detailed picture of the word(s)". After reviewing the passage, the child studies it for several days, with an intent focus on the words he does not feel competent spelling. When the child feels confident to spell each word correctly, the teacher will dictate the passage, one phrase at a time, monitoring for errors. If errors are noticed during the exercise, the teacher is directed to cover the incorrect spelling to prevent the misspelling from becoming engraved in a child's mind. This process of study and dictation will vary but should generally take less than a couple days to one week for each passage. Sound complicated? It may feel that way initially, especially if your only exposure to spelling has been through endless word lists. Thankfully, Mrs. Shafer does an excellent job of presenting the Charlotte Mason philosophy as it applies to spelling along with word study tips and detailed instructions for the dictation experience. Not only has she presented the background information equipping you to teach spelling in this manner, she has also provided an exceptional collection of writings. Included within these pages are speeches, letters and quotations from famous people; poetry, Scripture (KJV), excerpts from great literature and other varied selections. An extensive index and bibliography are included. Each book contains 140 exercises, which means each book may last just under two years and allow you to work at your child's own pace. Books incorporate more than 12,500 words, including 6,000 of the most frequently used words in the English language, The five books' exercises are progressively longer and more difficult. For example Exercise 1 in Book 1 is a quote from Charlotte Mason-"I am; I can; I ought; I will." The exercise in book 1 is a five-stanza selection of '"What the Wind Brings."

    You may notice that this series does not begin until grade 3. Miss Mason firmly believed that spelling was unnecessary before the late elementary years, giving children the opportunity to familiarize themselves with written language before embracing the task of spelling well. Available individually or as a set. Spiral Bound. ~Deanne

  • Item #: 023268
    ISBN: 9780982776261
    Retail: $29.95
    Rainbow Price: $22.95

       You’re never too old, or young, to begin learning to write calligraphy, and this book is a great step-by-step product to get you started. You can use alongside the Getty-Dubay Handwriting series for K-8 (beginning with 2nd grade) or as a stand-alone program to learn the art of calligraphy. This 64-page book is the collaboration of Inga Dubay and a group of Portland State teachers over the course of 3 years and includes instruction for writing with edged pens, italic calligraphy, and the history of the art form. 13 introductory pages explain what you will be doing in the remaining pages. There are 20 worksheets for use with a 3.5 mm nib and 9 worksheets for use with 2mm nib. 17 historical charts show the progression of letter formation since the Roman era. Ruled line pages and blank historical charts are found in the back and are the only pages that may be copied. Pages follow a progression; students practice strokes, lowercase letter families, formal capital letters, then copy Hindu-Arabic numerals, poems, quotes, Greek & Latin root words, and 50 most used English words. Use what you have learned to make beautiful cards & letters to give as thoughtful gifts.

      There are some great resources at the author’s website, handwritingsuccess.com. Helpful videos will take you through the worksheets in the book and a worksheet generator lets you make your own practice worksheets in both the 3.5mm and 2mm nib sizes.  

      The author asks that you, “Slow down, enjoy the process of calligraphy, and fall in love with letters along the way!” ~ Donna

  • Item #: 055399
    Retail: $39.95
    Rainbow Price: $37.95

    This is an entire art course in one set of DVDs! Barry Stebbing has been an artist and educator for a long time. His style is relaxed, neat, structured, yet open to the happy accidents that often occur in art. His voice is easy to listen to and he narrates as he is painting and demonstrating. I watched the entire first oil painting lesson and feel I can go get some canvas paper, paints, turpentine, some brushes and start practicing the techniques he demonstrated. Mr. Stebbing begins with the basics and recommends that students be about 12 years old for oil painting. There are 2 DVDs each on oils, acrylics and watercolors for almost 11.5 hours of instruction total. This would be fun to use with multiple kids or even for parents to do along with students. Materials needed are basic, but should be of good quality for beginners to get the best results. Each video tells you what you will need to practice the techniques kids will learn. You can gather your own supplies based on Barry's reccomendations or purchase the boxed set which includes supplies and the DVD set. In general, he suggests that you practice with less costly materials to develop your skills before beginning a real painting.

    The whole approach is practical and home-friendly. Even if you are an artsy Mom or co-op teacher, the techniques in his videos are beyond what most of us artsy folks are familiar with. Small kids will need close supervision, but middle grades and up could probably do this program pretty independently. This is a good choice for a family looking for an elective and not wanting to use a structured art curriculum. ~ Sara

  • Item #: 022405
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $349.95

       Combine LEGO® with technology and Mindstorms® is the result. I have been told that Mindstorms® is one of the hottest kits on the market. From a science perspective, a kit like this meets the new STEM/STEAM push; from a Lego® perspective, this is a great kit with possibilities to take them to the next level. Build and program robots that can walk and talk – as easy as downloading the EV3 Programmer App for PC and Mac. You can even get the instructions for building more models at the LEGO® website – or create your own!

      This kit gets great reviews from all ages, because you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy building and creating with LEGO®. ~ Donna

  • Item #: 023927
    ISBN: 9781932786576
    Retail: $34.95
    Rainbow Price: $23.95

    Written in the style of Hillyer's Child's Geography of the World, this introductory geography study incorporates lively, current text, recommendations of additional books to enjoy, narration, notebooking, and other fun activities, too! Geography of the earth is approached as if you and your children were taking a journey through and around the earth, learning everything about the Earth as a whole (individual continents and countries will be studied in upcoming volumes). Eleven chapters each focus on a geography topic, including the atmosphere, the continents, the oceans, seasons, climate, weather, the structure of Earth, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, latitude, and longitude. The author recommends spending two days on each chapter; one to snuggle up and read the text together, and the other to spend on the activities. Taking basic information like ocean currents, the rotation of the earth and plate tectonics and presenting them to children in an exciting way could have been a challenge, but the author has done a very impressive job here and has taken great pains to present the information in a personal way that children will understand and often be awed by. Occasionally the text is broken up by a "Tell the folks at home all about it!" which acts as a narration prompt. The narration jogs kids' memories about what they have read so far and helps them to remember it by describing it in their own words. To take this the next step, the author recommends that you and your child or children pretend you're on the phone while they tell you what they've "seen" in their journey. Each chapter's text ends with a "Postcard Home" which further embodies the "journey" theme. Postcard templates are found in the back of the book, or can be printed from online resources.  For each chapter, children will create their own postcard of the journey, in which they draw what they have learned on the front and describe it on the back, as if they were describing it to a recipient. Dressing up the ordinary "notebooking" as making postcards is a novel idea that will undoubtedly be a little more fun! After this point in every chapter, there is a "Reaching Out to His World" section, which ties the concepts from the text into a need that people around the world experience. Suggestions for further research and outreach are included in each one, so you can not only learn about the earth but develop a heart for helping others, too. "Further Explorations" in each chapter list books which tie in to that topic, and each book is listed with a summary and a grade range the book is most appropriate for. Two "Too-Fun-to-Resist Excursions" round out each chapter, and although they're not "required," I can understand why they call them too fun to resist! Some of the activities include mapping the location of shoes found washed up on shore (after containers of them were lost to the sea) to investigate ocean currents, making an edible earth, identifying rocks, doing an "earth dance," making volcanoes, looking for pictures in the shapes of the continents, and much more! These activities have clearly not been "tacked on" just because they are related to the chapter's topic; they are well-chosen and things that kids will definitely enjoy. An appendix at the end of the book contains the postcard templates, geography copywork and maps you will need throughout your journey. What a fun and appealing way to study world geography as a family! I just hope "Vol. 1" means that more are on the way! Jess

  • Item #: 023655
    ISBN: 9780471215950
    Retail: $16.00
    Rainbow Price: $12.75

    Subtitled "40 Time-Traveling, World-Exploring, History-Making Activities for Kids," this book contains an assortment of activities to take kids back in time, allowing them to recreate the discoveries of the past, or use what was "new technology" back then. The activities are arranged chronologically through time, with each activity given an introduction, list of (common) materials, a step-by-step procedure, and a fairly lengthy explanation. Additional ideas for extending your investigation through each period of history are also offered, as well as other timely, relevant facts for each activity. After reading about a Mesopotamian soap recipe, kids gather a few materials to see for themselves exactly how soap works. We've all heard of Archimedes' great discovery made in his bathtub, now kids can recreate and experiment with this concept - no bath necessary. And although readers may be surprised to know that the ancient Egyptians made and used glue, they can whip up some of their own to use. The equipment used is nothing fancy (chances are if the ancient Egyptians owned it, so do we!), and the simple procedures are easy enough for most kids to work through on their own (although adult help is noted in several activities). While the results of these experiments won't necessarily come as a surprise, participants are able to put themselves in the place of that time period or civilization, and imagine that what they're accomplishing was at one time regarded as a very sophisticated method! Please note that the book is from a secular publisher, most noticeable in the dating terminology used (B.C.E./C.E.) and in the first section of the book on early humans. However, we feel that the value of the book's activities overall outweighs these easy-to-omit features. - Jess

  • Item #: 021451
    ISBN: 9780316789684
    Retail: $8.99
    Rainbow Price: $6.95

    This is a cute drawing book that anyone can use. Really, it's that easy, and the results look so good and creative. All you really need is your thumb, a stamp pad, and a pen. The author then shows you pages and pages of animals, people, and other things you can make simply with your thumbprint and a few simple lines. Each page shows steps to making the drawings, making it simple enough for even the very young. Includes pictures of people with various expressions, actions, occupations, and hats, lots of animals, flowers, multi-thumbprint creatures and other fun variations. You'll be able to make a pirate, cowgirl, doctor, man with a turban, caterpillar, lion, frog, spider, mouse, and tons more. And after a little bit of practice, you'll be ready to make your own original thumbprint drawings! These are great little personalized drawings to put on gift tags, cards, and anything else. - Melissa

  • 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 #: 010749
    ISBN: 9780942617351
    Retail: $14.95
    Rainbow Price: $13.50

    A great introductory offering on economics from Bluestocking Press. Author Karl Hess does a good job of explaining the differences between capitalism, socialism, and communism, stressing the advantages of capitalism over the others. Hess also sings the praises of the entrepreneur and encourages the reader to consider having his own business, no matter what his age. Chapters cover money, personality, work, family business, investing, volunteering your time, education, and legal considerations. I appreciated the final chapter, words of wisdom from some highly successful entrepreneurs. A five-page resource section encourages the young capitalist to take the next step. 190 pgs.

  • Item #: 004267
    Retail: $59.95
    Rainbow Price: $43.95

    This hefty high school curriculum, newly revised in 2016, was designed to train girls to become godly women, based on Proverbs 31:10-31. The goal of the curriculum is to help Christian girls develop their skills and abilities for optimal service to the Lord within the family setting: a preparation for all the duties of an adult life. The guide's beginning elaborates on the program's philosophies and then discusses four learning styles as well as the Six R's of education (adds Research, Responsibility and Righteousness to the traditional three). The author assumes that students have a good basic mastery of Math and English grammar, as well as a good reading ability. In addition, these courses are written for mature young people., there are reproducible forms for planning and record keeping. (It is highly recommended that your daughter plan or at least help to plan her own lessons.) The forms included are a Goal Planning Checklist, High-School report Card, Lesson Planning Sheet, and a High School Cumulative Record Card. (This sheet will become the high school transcript for any student wishing to proceed on to college.) The curriculum guide is broken up into 20 different units (10 in Volume 1 and 10 in Volume 2). Each unit focuses on a different verse or verse group from Proverbs 31. Then, this unit is broken down into thematic mini units. Subjects covered are Bible and Christian Character, Cultural Studies, Reading and Literature, Composition, Math and Personal Finance, Science, Health and Physical Fitness, Practical Arts, and Decorative and Performing Arts. In each subject area within a unit, this curriculum guide gives a list of lessons for girls to choose from and complete. Since activities are provided for the four learning styles, there are more activities in the guide than can be completed in 4 years. The materials are written directly to the students, as they are encouraged to take responsibility for their own education. Each lesson assigns suggested point value (largely based on Carnegie units), so when an activity is completed you can easily total the points and convert them into High School credits. The guide also provides detailed instructions about how best to use the program, lists essential materials for the course, and recommends supplementary courses. Essential materials for the course are a Bible, concordance, dictionary, encyclopedia, hymnbooks, an English grammar book, and a writing style book). The list of strongly suggested materials is more extensive. Far Above Rubies was created to stand on its own, although the lessons call for reading and using a number of other books, such as Writer's Inc., the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, Understanding the Times, and more. At the end of each volume, there is an updated, detailed list of recommended resources (and corresponding Web locations for more information), many of which we also offer in our catalog. Also included for each volume are some cross-reference guides to help you locate specific lessons based on chronology or theme and a "25 Ways to Have Fun with Book Reports" chart. Please note that although the guide self-proclaims that it is not necessarily against college and career goals for young ladies, they admit that this is not the primary aim of this guide. Consequently, if your daughter plans on attending college or becoming a career woman, you will need to supplement her curriculum with some college-preparatory math and science (specific suggestions are offered). However, this curriculum does still provide the college-bound with a well-rounded base, and it also offers a number of business and vocational skills. Help prepare your daughters using the model provided in Proverbs 31. Includes Beautiful Girlhood Audiobook and 7 bonus e-books: Friendship, Friendship Notebook pages, Girls in Bookland, Nest in the Honeysuckles, The Merchant Maiden, The Basket of Flowers, and The Value of a Praying Mom. The curriculum is only available in PDF format on CD-ROM. Requires Adobe Reader, a free download. Revised edition, 2016. Win/Mac ~ Rachel/Ruth.

  • Item #: 002290
    ISBN: 9781942454014
    Retail: $14.99
    Rainbow Price: $7.84

    Fabric crafts are a fun way for students to design and wear their own art. This set would make a great gift for that artsy tween/teen because it includes everything but the clothing and an iron! Ok, you might also need some colored pencils to plan out your design first, cardboard to keep your fabric taut while you create and brown paper when it’s time to iron. But let’s talk about what this kit teaches and includes! Inside you’ll find 10 colored stamp pads (each 1.25” square); a dark fabric marker; 10 foam geometric shaped stampers; 6 pages of cardstock stencils to use; and an inspiring idea book with room to plan original designs. The stencils have things like butterflies, peace signs, bows, hearts, fruit, stars, argyles, cupcake, doughnut, candies, numbers, locks & keys, even chains so you can design a necklace on a tee! Photo instructions are clear and simple to follow. Once you are done stamping, heat set your design with an iron and it will be hand-washable. The design book gives you so many ideas on creating patterns with the stamps and stencils. It was amazing to see chevron and hound’s-tooth created with the stampers! Use the marker to outline your designs or add details. While you can make simple designs, there is instruction to get really intricate too, making this a fun book for older kids who have a flair for fashion! Experiment with overlapping colors and how the colors change with the background fabric. A white tee is the simplest way to get started. I loved how the kids are encouraged to plan out their creations rather than just go for it. I think that element takes this from craft to fabric design. All materials are contained in one unit (14” x 9.5”) with the spiral book on one end and the materials at the other. ~ Sara

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

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

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

  • Item #: 074175
    ISBN: 9781472822222
    Retail: $55.00
    Rainbow Price: $34.50

    ‘Ello, gov’ner! London has been devastated by the Great Fire of 1666. Your job, along with up to 3 other visionary architects, is to rebuild it by your own imagined grandeur! The goal of London is to accrue prestige by developing your city in 3 sectors: Economic, Cultural, and Political. As you construct buildings and buy land, you accrue expenses, forcing you to build in moderation or take out loans. Once you’ve established a few buildings, you can then manage your city, gaining money, prestige, and other benefits from those cards. But inevitably intertwined with these grandiose achievements are another staple of London: paupers and poverty. As your sector of London grows, its poverty level increases. But it’s okay to be in debt, as long as your competing architects are deeper in the red… If you’re looking for a more historical, strategic card game in the same vein as San Juan, give this a try! For 2-4 players. 60-90-minute playtime.

  • Item #: 071215
    ISBN: 9781780672816
    Retail: $19.95
    Rainbow Price: $15.50

    What would you call your artistic style? Are you a fan of bright moving colors like Miro? Do you like to use positive and negative space like Chillida? Do you want to try drawing with scissors like Matisse did? This book is interactive. As you learn about 18 artists, you will be asked to draw, paint, cut and create both in and out of the newsprint pages. Many of the activities use simple art/craft supplies you likely have on hand (and if you don't you can improvise.) There are several colored pages in the back to get you started. It has a nice variety of projects that leave you room to add your own artistic flair. It does focus more on modern art, which is nice since there are loads of classical art books out there! Add this to your art lessons and see what happens! Approx. 130pp, sc, 8x11". ~ Sara

  • Item #: 068442
    ISBN: 9780439175401
    Retail: $15.99
    Rainbow Price: $11.95

     Word problems can be something kids really struggle with, and to be honest, they can be confusing and even nonsensical (those 2 trains arriving at the station, come on!) What if a word problem was funny, relatable, and was presented to you in the form of a mystery for you to solve? With these mysteries, kids will get familiar with the characters used throughout the book, giving them some familiarity as they solve the puzzles. There is more reading involved than an ordinary word problem too--another plus! Each story is about 1-2 pages long. Recommended responses are in the back. Lots of tips are provided to prompt discussions too! A page called an Investigator’s Log guides students’ problem solving by asking them to restate the problem in their own words, write the information they have, the info they need, what can be done to solve the problem and then a solution. The last question asks, “How do you know your solution makes sense?” These would be great as a daily warm up activity to get those brains goin’! Reproducible for classroom/homeschool use. Meets NCTM standards. 112pp. ~ Sara

  • 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 #: 067524
    Retail: $45.75
    Rainbow Price: $24.95

       Just peel and stick. Yes, it really is that easy! We tested this in the office and our staff was easily able to peel and hang the surface freely without bubbles or lumps and bumps. This would make a great alternative to a homeschool room chalkboard or dry erase board that requires being screwed into your walls. Like a poster board, hang it high for teaching or place it low for a dedicated place to draw on the wall. Made to stick to a variety of surfaces, such as painted drywall, steel, glass, wood, and even whiteboards and chalkboards. It can also be cut to size (or fun shapes!), allowing you to use it almost anywhere - even on a tabletop to make your own dry-erase desk! Classroom, homeschool or boardroom, this 3’ x 2’ dry erase surface may be the greatest investment you make this year! Includes a cleaning cloth that easily wipes the stain-proof surface clean. ~ Deanne

  • Item #: 066962
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $1.45

       Nice, bright white, heavy-weight (80#) paper make these saddle-stitched books a great choice for preserving your child’s creativity. All art materials (paints, crayons, markers, and pencils) can be used. The lined books have blank space on top and four 3/4” lines with dotted middles on the bottom half of each page. 28 pgs, pb. ~ Janice