Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ~ The New Musical

My daughter fell in love with this movie when she was very little. Over the years
she has watched both the original version of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory with 
Gene Wilder as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp.
She was so excited to be able to see this musical.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Britfield & the Lost Crown ~ A Review

Britfield & the Lost Crown, written by C.R. Stewart is a fantastic children's book about an orphan boy named Tom and his daring adventures to find the truth about who he really is. This fiction book is 386 pages in length. The book can be ordered in softcover, hardback, audiobook, as well as e-book. The book is geared for the middle school/young adult audience. With that said, after reading it myself I personally would recommend it for the upper elementary grade levels as well. The first in a five-book series, Britfield presents a real-world children can relate to with accurate geography, history, architecture, and culture. Just an FYI, each Britfield Story will be followed by a major motion picuture (2021). 

Young Tom has spent most of his life at Weatherly Orphanage. Life at Weatherly is cruel and harsh. Children are known by numbers and are made to follow strict guidelines. Anyone deviating from them are punished severely by the Orphanages overseers Speckle, Brewster, and Sludge. The owners of Weatherly the Grievouses are wicked. Tom's one friend at Weatherly is a girl by the name of Sarah.  The children have a secret book exchange going on and they all take turns escaping the orphanage, running across the lawn to the Grievouses house to their library to get a book. They all love to read and this is the only way that they have the opportunity to read. Well, they are found out and Speckle has a hunch who it is. He interrogates Tom and Sarah the likely culprits. While interrogating Tom Mr. Grievous gives Tom some pretty important information about his parent's. THEY ARE ALIVE! They tell Tom he has two day to tell them about who snuck into his house or he would never find out what was in the file. Sarah refuses to tell and therefore gets locked in the attic. Patrick, on of the older orphans, agrees to sneak into the office and find the file. He scribbled something down. Tom and Sarah made a daring plan to escape. With the help from all of the other children at the orphanage they were able to escape, barely! Soon police and a private detective, Detective Gowerstone was on the case. Detective Gowerstone was a legend. His specialty was in missing children and runaway orphans. He had never failed a case, except for one. Trying to escape Yorkshire, UK, Tom and Sarah first tried to take the train but police and a suspicious gentleman made the kids run. They ran into a marshy field and came upon a hot air balloon. They jumped in and before they could think, they took off! Soon there were up in the air navigating how to control the balloon. Their adventures would take them to Oxford University, Christ Church, Windsor Palace, Richmond, London, St. James, St. Paul's, and Canterbury. At Oxford University they meet a college student Oliver who becomes a wonderful help to them. They then meet Professor Hainsworth who truly plays a huge roll in getting them the help they need as well as coming with them on their journey. Dr. Beagleswick, at King's College, just might hold the missing link. What does the word BRITFIELD have to do with Tom? The twists and turns truly keep you wanting to read and not want to put the book down. Those that you think are your allies just might be your enemies. Likewise, those that you have been running from just might be your friends and protectors. Their adventures finally take them to Dover where something most wonderful happens! 

My 11-year-old daughter said, "I really like this book. It is very realistic. Tom and Sarah orphans. The orphanage is run by the Grievouses who are very mean and selfish. Children who try to run away never make it out. That is until Tom and Sarah do. There adventures take them all over the place in a hot air balloon. Along the way they meet some very interesting people. Some of those people help them and some are out to get them. Danger is always right around the corner."

83 page pdf Study Guide 

Each of the eight weeks begins with a list of Vocabulary Words with various activities such as fill in the blanks, word finds, choose the best synonym to go with the sentence, what do you think the word means and then look it up in the dictionary, matching, etc. There are Comprehension Questions and Going Deeper Questions. The last section is Learning More with Technology. For example, "The speed of vehicles on the ground (like cars and trains) is measured in 'miles per hour' (mph), while the speed of aircraft is measured in 'knots' (kt). Use an outline search engine to find out why aircraft speed is measured in knots."

You can go to the website and click on the different locations 
(Yorkshire, The Midlands, Oxford, Windsor, Richmond, London, and Canterbury)
and see maps, amazing photographs, and images of all of the places talked about in the book.

This book is fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great read. I read the book in a day and could not put it down. I loved how the author incorporated history and realistic places into the book. His use of imagery is fantastic. My daughter cannot wait to read the next book in the series. I cannot wait to read the next book too, lol. Be sure to check out the website and what other reviewers had to say. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Pathway to Liberty ~ U.S. History

Pathway to Liberty offers a complete curriculum which contains four years of coursework. The curriculum is uniquely designed so that the teacher is able to teach multiple grade levels at the same time. Each level come with Teacher guides and Student Workbooks. Weekly lesson plans, assignments, and step-by-step instructions will guide your student along the way. Your child will be taught from a Biblical Worldview. The curriculum covers K-12th grade. Each year covers 26 weeks of coursework. This year I am going to using Pathway to Liberty's Year 3 - U.S. History with my 6th, 8th, and 11th grade children. We will be using Levels 2, 3, and 4. U.S. History begins with the early colonies and ends with the Civil War. 

Here is a list of the books used for all 4 levels.

This copy of The Light and the Glory is mine from when I was in college back in 1992. 

Here is my Level 2 kiddo. 

Here is my Level 3 kiddo. 

Here is my Level 4 kiddo. 

Here is a great breakdown of the 4 levels in the Pathway to Liberty Curriculum:

Level 1 (K5-3rd Grade)
  • Level 1 is designed for the early elementary years. Students learn history through age-appropriate core books and literature studies. Principles are taught in a concrete, simplified manner. The character of individuals is emphasized. Copy work and simple writing exercises can be adjusted to student's writing ability. 
Level 2 (4th-6th Grade)
  • Level 2 is designed for upper elementary who are able to read and write fluently. Principles are expanded and application is encouraged. Students write 1-2 paragraphs a weekly and begin to learn research skills. Some of the reading assignments coordinate with Level 3, however the reasoning, writing and literature are age-appropriate. 
Level 3 (7th-9th)
  • Level 3 is designed for middle school students. It requires more in-depth reasoning and logic and the application of principles. Students write 2-5 paragraphs weekly and apply research skills too reports. 
Level 4 (10-12 Grade)
  • With Level 4, student's gain rhetorical mastery of their lessons. Their worldview is solidified and they are able to articulate their lessons. It is for advanced level High school students. Most textbooks are college level reading. Credits include History-1, Bible-1/2-1, History and Literature reading are on an adult level. Writing assignments are designed to prepare students for a collegiate or professional environment. 
There are four years in the history cycle:
  • Year 1: Universal History
  • Year 2: The Middle Ages
  • Year 3: US History
  • Year 4: World History
I am very excited to see what all three of my children will learn this year as they work their way through U.S. History. As they learn about the original colonies of Roanoke and Jamestown, to the Great Awakening, and the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, and all of the way to what precipitated the Civil War. There is so much to cover and so much to read and learn about. It is going to be a fun year! 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Memoria Press ~ A Review

Memoria Press publishes classical, Christian curriculum for both homeschool and private schools.  The Ninth Grade Literature Guide Set includes; Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Henry V. For review, I received the Literature Guide Set without the novels. These works focus on Old English and Medieval Works.

Four Stages to the Central One Idea
Using the Trivium to Uncover the Hear of a Work
Memoria Press uses this set-up with their guides. Here is a brief breakdown of the Trivium.
  1. Stage 1: Pre-Grammar/Preparation - students are prepared to conceptualize the Central One Idea by using their own experiences and interests. "It is helpful to cultivate the soil in preparation for planting the seed." Students in this first stage are asked questions relating to this Central One Idea. This stage is to get the student thinking. In the Student Guide a couple of questions are asked. 
  2. Stage 2: Grammar/Presentation - in this stage the student is presented and will interact with essential facts, elements, and features of the story or poem. Within the Student Guide the student will learn useful facts in the Reading Notes and learn new vocabulary in the section Words to be Defined as well as Comprehension Questions. 
  3. Stage 3: Logic/Dialectic - the student reasons with the elements within the poem or story to ultimately determine the Central One Idea. This is when the Socratic method comes in. In the Socratic Discussion Questions the student digs deeper leading closer to the Central One Idea. 
  4. Stage 4: Rhetoric/Expression - In this final stage of the Trivium the student explain what they think is the Central One Idea. In the Student Guide the student is asked to summarize the plot, and express the Central One Idea. The student is also asked to list three or four supporting facts to support as to how they came to their Central One Idea. An opportunity to write an essay is also given.
Here is a wonderful video that explains how the Upper School Literature Guides
through Memoria Press function. 

For the review period my daughter worked through The Canterbury Tales.

The Student Guide covers The General Prolougue, and Three Tales; The Pardoner's Tale, The Nun's Priest's Tale, and The Franklin's Tale. Memoria Press does use a Reader-Friendly Edition in the original words put into modern spelling, edited and copyrighted by Michael Murphy which is published by Memoria Press. We chose to use the Penguin Classics Edition which did make following the Student Guide a bit more difficult as page numbers did not match up but overall the Tales are the same. Memoria Press does recommend certain editions for each of the four guides in the ninth grade literature set. I would definitely recommend purchasing the recommended versions.

Students are directed as to, How to Mark a Book, which is in the Student Guide. My daughter is quite familiar with annotating because she has had to annotate all of her literature books for co-op since she was in the 7th grade. Within the Student Guide students will interact with The Canterbury Tales Poetry and read through reading notes, define unfamiliar words, answer comprehension questions, use logic and dialectic reasoning to answer Socratic discussion questions, work with quotes, and complete essays.

Even though this set states that it is for the 9th grade, when you click on each individual guide it says that it is for grades 8 and up. My daughter will be going into the 11th grade is coming year. She enjoyed working through the three tales from within the collection of tales from The Canterbury Tales.

From a teacher's perspective, being that this was high school level literature I really wish that Memoria Press would have included background content, explanations, and breakdowns of each poem/story. Often times upper level literature is quite difficult to understand and I really feel that this needs to be included in the Teacher Guide. The Teacher Guide is pretty much a cookie cutter of the Student Guide except the answers are included. Of course the Teacher Guide does include quizzes and tests.

Henry V

Most of us are very familiar with William Shakespeare's works. In this play soon after becoming king Henry sets out to try and lay claim to France and England. The whole play covers the Hundred Years' War. During the Battle of Agincourt Henry disguises himself the eve before battle. At the end of the play Henry and Katherine join alliances in order to ensure the safety of their two countries through marriage. There are Five Acts in Henry V. In each Act the student is directed through the Trivium as follows:
  • Pre-Grammar - Preparation
  • Grammar - Presenttation
  • Logic - Dialectic
  • Rhetoric - Expression
For one of the essay options students are asked to, "Write an essay about Henry and his various attributes. Take a position about Henry as a king, leader, or person (or all three), and support your thesis with evidence from the text. 

Beowulf The Warrior

I do not remember much about Beowulf. I remember that Beowulf is about a young warrior. Beowulf gains fame by fighting a monster, Grendel, and then a dragon. He dies while slaying the dragon. Of course I am leaving out a whole lot, lol. 

There are 3 parts to this story written in poem form. Did you know that Beowulf is "the first epic poem in the English language; one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature."

As Beowulf is fighting the dragon in Part 3 - The Fire Dragon, one of the Socratic Discussion Questions that is asked is;

6. "Together they quenched the fire, together beat out His loathsome life." 
This line contains anaphora, the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses. Through the use of anaphora, what was the poet emphasizing?
Answer - The poet was emphasizing the unity and togetherness of Beowulf and Wiglaf. They were the only two who chose to valiantly fight the dragon And their unity is what allowed them to defeat the dragon. 

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight is not a classic that I am familiar with. I actually had to read about this story/peom. Sir Gawain is a knight in King Arthur's court who accepts a challenge from a mysterious Green Knight who dares any knight to strike him with an axe. He will then in turn the following year and a day take a blow from an axe. 

The Student Guide is divided into IV Fits. Each fit has 21, 24, 34, and 22 stanzas, respectively, for a total of 101. Each stanza ends with a two-syllable "bob" and a four-line "wheel" that rhyme ABABA. 

In the Reading Notes some of the more unfamiliar vocabulary words that students many come across are: Zephyrus, greave, cuisse, casque, baldric, five wits, five pure Joys, evensong, beldame, castellan, and Logres. All of these words are defined in the Reading Notes. 

Overall, Memoria Press is a wonderful company and over the years our family has used many of their materials. I would highly recommend this set and any of their materials. Definitely check out what other reviews had to say by clicking the link below. 

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Library and Educational Services LLC ~ A Review

Library and Educational Services LLC is a wholesale distributer of educational materials. They sell a wide range of materials from Bibles, books, both fiction and nonfiction for children, teens, and adults. They carry popular audio series, and educational DVD's. They even carry a wide range of crafts, hobby items, and games. I had the privilege of reviewing one of their audio CD's, The Emperor's New Clothes - Lifehouse Theater CD. I got to look through their extensive collection of Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction Books and spend an allotted amount of money. I chose these two hardcover collections, A Documentary History of the Holocaust - Set of 5, and Remembering the Holocaust - Set of 5. In addition, Library and Educational Services LLC has a fun collection of books entitled, Who was...? series. We actually reviewed a What Was...? book in the series entitled, What Was D-Day. You can create an account online for free and at that point see more of what they have to offer.

What Was D-Day?

Ages 8-12
3rd - 7th Grade
112 pages
At the end of the book there are 16 pages of actual D-Day photos.
A Timeline of D-Day events are included. 
A Timeline of WWII from 1933 when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany
to 1945 when WWII was officially declared ended is included. 
Pencil illustrations are included throughout the book. 
Throughout the book events are described in further detail such as the 
Five Beaches at Normandy. These events are sectioned off in boxes. 

The Emperor's New Clothes 

Ages 8 and up
Running Time is 41 minutes
This is a fully dramatized audio adventure which include strong performances, 
sound effects, and music. The audio dramas are familiar adaptations from classic
literature that most everyone will be familiar with. 
The Lifehouse Theater On-The-Air Collection includes:
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Hiding in Plain Sight
Job: A Modern Man
Pride and Prejudice
The Princess and the Pigs
The Misadventures of Tom Sawyer
Trapped in Aesop’s Fables!

Based on Hans Christian Andersen's tale, The Emperor's New Clothes is 
familiar to many. Ned, page boy to the king, sees the crazy antics that are going on 
at the expense of the Emperor. When two tailors come to court with their beautiful linens 
convincing everyone that their cloth is invisible and has magical powers that can 
only be seen by those fit for their jobs. The Emperor right away commissions the tailors
to make him clothes. Ned must convince the Emperor before he becomes the laughing stock
of the Kingdom. 

Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction Books

Here is my selection of books. 
Remembering the Holocaust - Set of 5

Ages 11 and up
For grades 6 and up
96 pages per book

Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka - The Holocaust Camps
Warsaw, Lodz, Vilna - The Holocaust Ghettos
Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler - The Nazi Holocaust Masterminds
Anti-Semitism And The "Final Solution" - The Holocaust Overview
Wiesel, Wiesenthal, Klarsfeld - The Holocaust Survivors

Anti-Semitism began in the early 1900's. This included believing that Jews were 
responsible for the economic crisis, poverty, political conflict, carriers of disease and 
inferior to all others. This hate spread and after WWI when Germany lost the war they 
needed a scapegoat and made the Jews their target. Hitler rose to power and devised his 
plans for racial purity by exterminating the Jewish race. WWII began on September 1, 1939. 
The Jews were ostracized and their businesses were boycotted. Eventually they were sent
to gets where conditions were horrible. But the worst was yet to come when they were 
all loaded up in 1942 to be sent to various concentration camps throughout Europe. 
In all over 2 million individuals were murdered. 

Documentary History of the Holocaust - Set of 5 

Ages 12 to 18
7th -12th grade
80 pages per book

Much like the above series this series chronicles the events of WWII and the 
horrific events that the Jews endured at the hands of Hitler and his henchmen. 
The Nuremberg Trials took place after WWII in order to bring those 
responsible for the Holocaust accountable for their actions. During the Holocaust 
thousands of people risked their own lives to save the lives of Jews. 
On such hero was Oskar Schindler who had
a enamelware factory. In order to safe the lives of over 
1,200 Jews Schindler bribed Nazi officers
and devised a list of Jewish prisoners that he deemed necessary to 
maintain production for an armaments manufacturer. 

Righteous Gentiles - Non-Jews Who Fought Against Genocide
Kristallnacht And Living In Nazi Germany
The Nuremberg Trials
Jewish Resistance Against The Holocaust 
The Warsaw Ghetto And Uprising 

New Arrivals are being added all of the time!
They have a Homeschool Resource section. 

Look at this amazing deal that you can get on this Narnia set!

In the DVD section you can find Drive Thru History® which is fantastic!

Our family absolutely LOVES the series of books called, Childhood of Famous Americans, 
and Pocahontas is just one of the notable figures in the series. We have a huge collection
of these. 

Library and Educational Services LLC has such a wide range of materials at great prices. Looking through the site the prices are definitely so much lower than you will find anywhere else. You can even request a catalog on the site. I have six kiddos ranging in ages from 23 down to 11 and I so wish that I would have known about this website earlier as I would have saved so much money. This is just one of our many bookshelves with books stacked double deep. We are HUGE readers in our house. 

I would most definitely recommend checking out their website. Library and Educational Services LLC has been in business for 40 years! They ship all over the world, even to military bases. Be sure to read what my other Crew member had to say by click on link below. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Confetti Eggs