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3 easy to use homeschool resources that make teaching language arts and history to your kids so much fun!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
I’ve heard so many times how much other homeschooling families love the writing programs developed by Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) however I still hadn’t tried their programs out for myself.
So when I recently had the opportunity to try out some of their products I was so excited! I received A Word Write Now: A Thematic Thesaurus for Stylized Writing, Teaching with Games Set and a Timeline of Classics: Historical Context for the Good and Great Books.
I must say that I’ve been so impressed at how well these books are put together! It’s like every little detail has been thought of, I wish I hadn’t waited so long to try out IEW books.
The Timeline of Classics:Historical Context for the Good and Great Books, by Gail Ledbetter is an amazing resource for homeschooling families and teachers a like! It is a 96 page spiral bound book printed in landscape format.
Each page is printed on one side only making this book easy to use without flipping the book back and forth. It is available as a print book or PDF eBook.
Timeline of Classics is a chronological listing of books, videos and audios. Each page in the timeline section is displayed in a 4 column spreadsheet format, and each page has approximately 20 resource listing.
The column titles are:
- Description or Time Period
Table of Contents:
- Ancients (5000 BC- AD 400)
- Pre-flood and Postflood Civilizations
- Egypt (3000-2000 BC)
- Greece (3000-431 BC)
- Rome (509 BC-AD 476)
- Dark Ages (Europe, c. 300-900)
- The Middle Ages (AD 400-1440)
- Vikings (Scandinavia, Europe, 793-1066)
- European Military Expansion (1000-1440)
- Crusades (1095- c. 1250)
- Renaissance Period in Italy (1300-1500)
- Renaissance and Reformation (1450-1850)
- European Exploration and Colonization (1400-1600)
- Protestant Reformation (15th Cen., Europe)
- Elizabethan Period ( UK, 1558-1603)
- The New World (1607-1860s)
- Age of Enlightenment (18th cen. Europe)
- Industrial Revolution (18th-19th cen.)
- Westward Expansion (America, c. 1841)
- The Modern World (1850- present)
- American Civil War(1861-1865)
- Progressive Era ( USA, 1880s-1920s)
- Machine Age (1900-1945)
- The Post-Modern Era (1935 WW2-present)
- Cold War Period (1945-1991)
- Atomic Age (after 1945)
- Space Age (after 1957)
- Information Age (1970+)
I just love the way the book is laid out. Each resource lists a suggested level of either Elementary (E), Middle (M) and High School (H) to help you quickly pick out books that fit your students age and ability. Of course there are also many resources that are listed for a combination of age. These could be used as family read aloud or spines to build a history study from.
I’ve been so excited to find the Timeline of Classics, it’s a wonderful resource that I will use for many years to come! We are currently working on a few history themes. We’ve been doing a slow study of the Middle Ages and a mini unit on the Great Depression as well. I’ve been able to find so many resource ideas that I hadn’t heard of before.
The only little thing is that I wish it listed more resources for Canadian history.
The Timeline of Classics is a wonderful resources if your building a unit study or reading through history in a chronological manner.
Teaching with Games by Lori Verstegen is a 117 page spiral bound book and a 3 DVD/CD-ROM set. The disc set includes 2 DVD’s that show you how the games are played. The CDROM has a copy of the book in eBook form for easy printing and also has bonus material.
Table of Contents
- “No-Prep” Games
- Matching Card Games
- Question Games
- Math Fact Games
- “Make As You Teach” Games
You can purchase the DVD/CDROM set and if you want a pre-printed copy as well the spiral bound book is available separately. IEW sent me both versions and I’m so grateful that they did. I love eBooks but I really do like to curl up with a print book and flip through it looking for ideas.
I’m a very visual learner, so although there are full instructions in the book on how to play the games I love that you can also watch Lori use the games to get a good feel on how it’s supposed to work.
We’ve been using a number of games from Teaching with Games. I’ve largely focused on the “No Prep” games because it’s been a busy time for us.
All of our children love games, hey most kids do right? Even educational games it just makes learning more fun. We’ve found a few games that we really enjoy. No Noose Hangman is a favourite here. It’s played very much like the traditional Hangman game but no one is “hanged”.
All you need is a whiteboard and marker or paper and pencil for a smaller group. We also love the Wheel of Fortune game. I thought that would become a favourite because we have a few kids that just love that game show.
A Word Write Now: A Thematic Thesaurus for Stylized Writing by Loranna Schwacofer is a 107 page spiral bound book. This is the perfect thesaurus for young writers, goodness I loved it to!
What is different about this book from a traditional thesaurus is how the book is laid out. Instead of having an alphabetical listing of words with a brief list of similar words, the book is laid out by meaning.
For example in the section on character traits the word “anger” takes up a 2 page spread. The word is defined, examples are given and then there are lists of nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs grouped together with a similar meaning.
A Word Write Now is divided into 3 sections.
Section A- Character Traits
This is a wonderful resource for writers looking to find more interesting descriptions for the characters in their writing. In this section there is a 2 page spread for 23 character traits listed alphabetically from Anger to Wisdom.
As previously mentioned it list a definition and similar words for each character trait. There is also excerpts from classical literature to show examples of how other authors have shared these traits. Also included is space for the student to list additional words they can think of.
Section B – Descriptive Words
This is one of my children’s favourite sections in this book. It includes lists of words to describe appearance, color, size, time, temperature, texture and shape. It is laid out in similar style to the character traits section. Each topic has a 2 page spread with literature quotes, common sayings and similar things as they fit with the topic.
An example in the section Words to Describe Color there are adjectives to describe color. Suggestions for the colour red: brick burgundy cardinal cherry crimson pink rose ruby scarlet
The next page has adjectives – attributes of color such as for dull: ashen colorless drab faded pale
It also has suggestions for nouns in the values of color an words for light. Our kids have had fun taking simple sentences and seeing how they can uses these lists to make them more interesting.
Section C – Words for Movement and the Senses
This section is in a similar format to the earlier two. It has pages for words for: feet, hands, hearing, seeing, smelling speaking and thinking.
An example from the feet section, it covers nouns related to feet. This includes lists under the topics of things to put on feet, words for human feet, words for animal feet, places for feet to move, how feet might move.
Under verbs it has lists for faster movements, slower movements, graceful movements, awkward movements, other foot actions. Also included are literature selections.
Section D – Appendix
The appendix includes 5 different sections: Playing With Words – Make it Fun! Transition Words Not Related to Time Prepositions – Excellent for Memorization Categories of Literary Genres Definitions and Examples of Literary Devices
I have to say that A Word Write Now has become a favourite resource here. It’s nearly always pulled out when we do our free writing or are working on spicing up written drafts. This would be such a helpful resource for any young writer!