TOS Review: Apologia Educational Ministries – Internship for High School Credit

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So, high school is all about preparing for the future, right? And what better way to prepare your child for their future than to have them do an internship in high school? Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? But, how do you set up said internship? And track it? And assign credits for it? Don’t worry, Apologia Educational Ministries is here to help! For this review, we got to check out their Internship for High School Credit workbook, and it helps answer all of those questions!

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The book starts with a basic introduction to internships and ideas for how to find an internship, how to figure out what to intern in, and how many hours are needed to earn credit (75 for one-half credit). This equates to about 5 hours per week, which is pretty manageable for a  summer or fall internship. I liked the fact that they spell all of this out for you in the beginning because that is the kind of stuff I have trouble figuring out.

Internship for High School Credit also offers sections on writing a resume and introductory letter, with samples, which was very helpful for my son. He learns best when he has concrete examples, and things have changed so much since I wrote my resumes, I like having examples too.

There are two sections in the workbook, one for each semester, in case you wanted to do a full year internship (which is about 150 hours). There is also a wrap-up section at the end with activities for your student to complete once their internship is done. So, you can decide on your own how long you want the internship to be.

At the beginning of the sememster, students set goals for their course, whch they are supposed to set with their supervisor. From there, they have weekly assignments that include a table where they track the dates and hours they worked, and then a series of questions to answer. The questions range from ones that get the students focused on their workplace (like observing the atmosphere and how people interact with each other there) to ones that get them thinking about their future career path (like researching colleges and degrees that will benefit them, thinking about what kinds of technology they will use on the job). At the end, students and their supervisors rate their performance, and there are several writing assignments including essays and writing a thank you note.

My son has been planning to do an internship with the children’s pastor at our church, as he has been interested in becoming a children’s minister himself for quite some time. When he began his internship a few weeks ago, the three of us met to go over what he would be doing and to set goals and a schedule. Since then, my son has been completing the weekly activities with me discussing them with him each week. I also sign off on his hours for the week. Our pastor also signs off on his hours and usually offers some feedback too.

So far, I am very happy with the Internship for High School Credit program. I feel like it has given my son’s internship real direction that it might not otherwise have had. I also feel like the questions have given my son a lot to think about, and it has led to some great discussions about his future both with me and with our pastor as well. If you are interested in having your child complete an internship and don’t know how to get started, I would highly recommend checking this out.

To learn more, connect with Apologia on social media here:

Apologia on Facebook

Apologia on Twitter

Apologia on YouTube

To see what other members of the crew had to say about this program and the How to Homeschool course they got to check out, click here:

Homeschool with Confidence & Internship for High School {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}

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TOS Review: Memoria Press (First Form Latin)

Memoria PressI believe languages are important and to be honest, I’ve always been interested in Latin. I find it fascinating how much of our current vocabulary is derived from a variety of Latin roots. Really, knowing Latin can improve your vocabulary over all which is something that can benefit any high school student, but especially those interested in career paths involving science or medicine. So, I was excited to get to check out the First Form Latin Complete Set from Memoria Press for this review.

First Form Latin Complete SetFirst of all, when they say complete set, they mean complete set! I was absolutely amazed by everything that came in the box! There was a teacher manual, teacher key, student text, student workbook, test book, flash cards, pronunciation CD, and instructional DVD! Yes, I know that’s a lot, and I will admit, I was a little overwhelmed at first, just looking at it. However, Memoria Press also does a great job of coordinating all the pieces and parts to make it easy for you to use everything.

The teacher manual for this program is your best friend. It very explicitly lays out the order of each lesson for you. It also explains how you will use each part of the program. Now, keep in mind that First Form Latin was originally designed to be used in a classroom setting, so some of the activities (like games, choral recitations etc.) assume that you have more than one student. However, you can easily adapt it, either by taking on the role of a student yourself (which is what I did because I wanted to learn Latin anyway), having siblings take on those parts, or perhaps using it in a co-op setting.

Memoria Press offers a variety of Latin programs for all ages and I did First Form with my 10th grade son. Not because it is aimed at high school students, but because this is simply where you start with any older student. The good thing about this program is that prior experience with Latin is not required for the student or the teacher! I will tell you that there is a learning curve when you first start using the program, but that is because it is just so meaty! Since the lessons follow a predictable pattern, you kind of get into a groove after you’ve done it for a bit.

There is a suggested weekly schedule, which I followed, and lessons take about 30-45 minutes total, but you could break that up into smaller segments if you needed too. Students take quizzes each week, which I think is a nice feature, and you do quite a bit of review work through the flashcards and games, so they don’t forget what they have learned. You can also use this with the Famous Men of Rome curriculum to add in some history studies too.

My son enjoyed learning Latin with his mom, and while he doesn’t always like all the drills that come with it, he does see how useful they are. The student text and workbook are very straightforward and were easy for him to use. At the beginning we did the workbook together, but after we started moving through the lessons, we would complete some activities together and then he would finish the lesson on his own with me correcting it afterwards. It is really important that you take the time to go over the workbook activities with your child because that feedback helps them to learn.

Overall, we have really enjoyed First Form Latin, and I am seriously considering moving on to Second Form Latin when we are done. If you are looking for a very thorough, yet still easy to use Latin program for your child, we would definitely recommend this one. To learn more, connect with Memoria Press on social media here:

Memoria Press on Facebook

Memoria Press on Twitter

Memoria Press on Pinterest

Memoria Press on YouTube

To see what other members of the crew thought of this program and the others that we got to check out, click here:

Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

TOS Review: The Typing Coach

The Typing Coach

In this day and age, technology is only becoming more and more important. It is very likely that whatever job our children get, computer skills are going to be a must. I want my son to be comfortable with typing on a computer, particularly because he has some issues that make handwriting difficult for him. So, I was excited to try The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach with him.

The Typing Coach

The course is self-paced, which is nice because you are able to have your child work in the way that best suits them. At first, my son was pretty slow and getting through each lesson took quite a bit of time. However, as he practiced and got more comfortable, he was able to complete lessons at a much quicker pace. Lessons include audio and video learning as well as printable student packets that show the student what to type. These reminded me of the typing book I used in high school when learning to type on a typewriter. You know, the flip books you set up and typed from? I kind of liked this part of the program!

When you first log into the course there is a nice section with instructions for how to use each section as well as a video tour which is great for visual learners like my son. I highly recommend reading these and watching the video with your child. There are only seven lessons in the course, but the idea is to keep practicing each lesson until your child masters that section, so depending on how they are doing, the amount of time you spend on the course will vary. Like I said, in the beginning, lessons could take my son more than a week to get comfortable with, but he started going faster after the first few lessons.

Once you read all of the course information, students start with a practice test of sorts so they can get an idea of where they are at and compare their progress at the end of the course. From there they go into lessons on topics like having good posture, home row keys, number row, top row, etc. For each lesson students will need their student packet (which was over 16 pages, plus the tracking sheet and learning checks). I would say that this might be the only drawback for the program if you do not have an efficient printer.

For each lesson, students are literally “coached” along verbally by the program’s author. My son thought he had a pleasant voice and it was helpful to have him directing the lesson as he worked. Students follow the instruction he gives as they practice typing on their computer. We simply opened Microsoft Word and then my son typed as he listened to the lesson play.

Each lesson offers a very good amount of practice in my opinion. Students stroke the same letters repetitively until it almost becomes second nature. The author reminds students to maintain good posture as they work. During breaks in the lesson, light music plays in the background. I will say that for this part of the program, students really do need to be auditory learners, as they have to follow the verbal instructions, typing each letter they are told to type, and there is no video to go along with this part.

At the end of each lesson, students are given instructions for further practice before they move onto their learning check in the practice and testing center. Here, they will take typing test to see how well they have mastered that section. The goal is to complete the test with zero errors before moving on. I will be honest, my son struggled with this at first, especially since he had to go back repeat the lesson if he got any errors. However, I feel his accuracy is going to be so much better because of that, I think it’s a good feature.

Lessons can range anywhere from 20-30 minutes long, so if you have a fidgety child, you may need to break them up into parts. Overall, I feel like this is a solid typing program for anyone who wants to learn how to type. To learn more about this program, connect with The Typing Coach on social media here:

The Typing Coach on Twitter

To see what other members of the crew thought of this program, click here:

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}

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TOS Review: CompuScholar, Inc

CompuScholar, Inc.My 10th grade son is a techie, and he particularly loves gaming. At some point, he might like to design and create games of his own, so learning about computers is important to him. I want him to have the ability to write programs, but I am so far from being able to do that, it’s not even funny! For this review, I was excited to have him check out the Java Programming course from CompuScholar, Inc.

CompuScholar, Inc. Java ProgrammingThis course is designed for high school students, especially those interested in taking the AP Computer Science exam. The course page offers study resources to help prepare students for the exam, and the lessons go in depth into topics like getting started with Java, working with strings, user input, debugging, and much much more.

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Worried that you have no idea what any of that means? Don’t be, I don’t either. Fortunately, this online course does all the teaching for you. Of course, if you are already fluent in computer programming language, you could certainly help your child through the program, but experience on the parent’s part, is not necessary! (thank goodness)

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We found the Java Programming course to be very user-friendly. It is divided into roughly 27 chapters, with individual lessons for each chapter. Lessons include instruction (video or text), assignments, and quizzes. When your child logs on, they simply click on the chapter they are working on and get started.

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I appreciated the fact that the video lessons were pretty short, which is good for boys with short attention spans. However, even though the lessons may not be long, they are full of information. That’s why it is also nice to have a text version of the lesson available as well. If my son had trouble remembering something, or didn’t quite get something, he could watch the video again and/or go read the lesson text as well.

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The quizzes were great for me as a homeschool teacher. In high school, I do think it is important to record grades and things like that. Having everything graded for me made it very easy for me to keep track of how he was doing, and also makes it easier for me to track credits for high school. Students have two attempts at every quiz, so if my son did not do well, I had him review the lesson and take it again. Each chapter also features an exam at the end that reviews all the lessons.

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The part my son enjoyed the most was probably the activities. Some of them were complicated, but that’s what I would expect from a course at this level. He did have me read over the directions with him on a couple of assignments, but once he understood the directions, he was able to complete the assignments on his own. I felt like the assignments offered him a great opportunity to practice what he was learning. After finishing this course, I feel like he would be able to move into further computer programming courses at our local community college with a solid foundation to build on.

My son enjoyed the Java Programming course from CompuScholar Inc., and as a mom, I feel like it was a very strong course for a high school student. We are going to review the AP resources and consider signing him up for the test. CompuScholar offers multiple pricing options for this course, from monthly to yearly payments and self-study and teacher-led courses.

To learn more about CompuScholar Inc., connect with them on social media here:

CompuScholar Inc. on Facebook

CompuScholar Inc. on Twitter

To learn more about this, and the other courses our reviewers got to check out, like their Web Design and Digital Savvy courses, click here:

 

Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

TOS Review: Memoria Press

Memoria Press

I’ve always loved studying languages, and my son has an interest in language, history, and the Bible. For this review, we got to check out the First Form Greek Complete Set from Memoria Press, which seems like a great combination of all of those! This set is aimed at students in 7-12 grades and comes with so much stuff! You get a teacher’s manual, student text, student workbook, flash cards, and quizzes and tests book, answer key, pronunciation CD, and instructional DVD. There is so much to dive into, I had to take a couple of days to work it out in my head before we could start using it.

First Form Greek Complete Set
Grades 7-12

First of all, I want to say this program is extremely thorough. Beginning with the teacher’s manual, it takes you through each part of a lesson with examples and tips for how to help your students along. I appreciated this because I don’t have a ton of experience in Greek, and it was nice to have everything broken down for me. Lessons are consistent in how they are broken up, so once you get into a rhythm, things flow pretty smoothly. The lessons in First Form Greek are scheduled to take place over five days, but I think you could easily adjust this once you get comfortable with the program.

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The student text is broken into 26 lessons, or five units, covering the declensions and different parts of speech. I found the instruction to be pretty clear, but if something was too confusing, we simply watched the lecture that accompanied the lesson on the DVD. That’s what I mean by saying this a very thorough set, it has multiple layers that you can combine to make the program fit your student.

After completing the lessons, my son would work his way through the student workbook. Sometimes he needed help with some assignments, which was fine. If he needed to review something I let him go back to the book or DVD to figure it out, because I always feel like finding the correct answer for something you are unsure of helps you to learn.  I admit, we did slow down the pace a bit, to about 3-4 days per week depending on the subject. I don’t want to rush my son through this because I want him to really soak it up.

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The quizzes and test book is another nice addition to the program, especially at the high school level. At this point, I do like to have test and quiz grades for my son, since I want to count courses for credit, and it’s nice to not have to make them up on my own. I think First Form Greek is a solid program for a high school student or an advanced middle schooler, or even an adult (like me) who has wanted to further her understanding of an ancient language that played such a big part in the world. As my son has been working through this program, and I have been grading his work, I find myself learning alongside him! This has opened up new avenues for me as I begin to see the patterns in the language, especially when it comes to Bible study, as I often like to look up words or phrases, and many places include Greek translations!

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If you would like to learn more about this program, connect with Memoria Press on social media here:

Memoria Press on Facebook

Memoria Press on Instagram

Memoria Press on Twitter

Memoria Press on Pinterest

To find out more about First Form Greek and the other products the Crew Review team got to check out, click here:

 First Form Greek, Iliad/Odyssey and American History {Memoria Press Reviews}

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TOS Review: Creating a Masterpiece

 

Creating a MasterpieceArt education is one of those areas I struggle with. I am one of those non-artistic people. I tried to do one of those “paint nights” with my girlfriends and my painting was terrible!! However, I believe arts education is important, and necessary when a child is in high school. So, I was happy to get to review the monthly plan from Creating a Masterpiece with my 10th grade son.

Creating a MasterpieceCreating a Masterpiece offers online art education for students of all ages. There are programs to suit younger and older kids, and you can choose different projects and mediums to explore. Projects range from Beginner level (which are usually one lesson) to Level 5, which may be three lessons or more for one project. Students can experiment with watercolor, acrylic, sculpting, charcoal and pencil drawings, pastels and more.

Creating a MasterpieceEach lesson features step by step video instruction, and the teacher is very clear, with a pleasant demeanor. This is especially important for my son, who easily loses interest when an online teacher speaks in a monotone voice and goes on and on. You can tell the instructor enjoys art and is enthusiastic about the projects.

My son wanted to get into the pencil and charcoal drawings, so that is where we started. We did need to pick up some supplies like a drawing pad, different types of pencils, and some other things, but I was able to find them at a local art supply store for a minimal cost. I really like the fact that you can search for projects by medium and that the necessary supplies are listed for each project. This makes it easy for me to see what you need, and, if you are on a budget, you can choose projects that do not need expensive supplies.

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The first project my son chose consisted of four lessons, which we did over four days. Each session was further broken down into sections of 10 minutes of less, which is great for kids with short attention spans. It also makes it easy to pick right back up where you left off if you are having a busy day and only have time for a short lesson. My son felt the lesson was easy to follow and enjoyed working on his art projects. I would like him to move more into the pastels and watercolor in the future, but for now, pencil drawing is his thing, and that’s okay.

If you have a child who loves art, you can allow them to choose the medium they are most interested in. If your child isn’t really into art, but you want to get them started, you can begin with the simpler projects (like the pencil and charcoal drawings) and then encourage them to try out other forms as they get more comfortable.

Creating a Masterpiece also includes a section on Art History, which we found pretty interesting and would be a great place to kick off a further study of art in general. For a high school student you could easily add books and trips to the museum and essays about art history along with the projects if you wanted to beef it up.

Overall, we enjoyed Creating a Masterpiece a lot. I think I might even get myself some pastels and see if I can’t pick up a few skills! To learn more about this program, connect with Creating a Masterpiece on social media here:

Creating a Masterpiece on Facebook

To see what other members of the crew thought of this program, click here:

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

TOS Review: ArtAchieve

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve ReviewMy youngest has always struggled with his fine motor skills. As an elementary school student he received OT, which helped, but even now I still see him working really hard to do certain things when it comes to writing. He is very artistic, although not really a “color inside the lines type” and drawing and other art projects get him more excited about using some of those skills. I feel like completing art projects helps build his hand-eye coordination, and I was excited to get to check out the Entire Level 1 program from ArtAchieve for this review.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

ArtAchieve offers a variety of online lessons for kids in drawing and painting. Level 1 includes 9 multicultural projects that range from coloring in designs with markers to painting with acrylics and oil pastels. What I found really unique about this program is the large amount of information included, not just about art techniques, but also about the history of the cultures studied in artistic form and the insects and animals in the projects.

For example, in the “Plate from Nepal” project, kids learn about where Nepal is located, important places in the area, and cultural information about the people there. In addition, the intro to the lesson includes links that you can use to expand on this information with stories from the region, suggestions for books to read, recipes for foods you can cook and more. I think this is a great way to introduce different cultures to your kids, and you could certainly tie the program into a geography study if you are doing one.

The projects themselves are laid out step by step in a powerpoint, and video. Printable warm-ups help your child get started on drawing the lines and curves needed in the project, then move onto choosing colors and coloring or painting. My son found them very easy to follow. He enjoyed using the powerpoints because he could go slide by slide and complete each step (he likes to follow things like this in order). Some of the projects were a little more difficult than others, and you can do them in any order you choose.

His favorites were the Plate from Nepal and the Chinese Dragon. He really enjoyed mixing the vibrant colors to make each design his own. ArtAchieve emphasizes the fact that art is individual and there is no right or wrong way to complete a project. Students are encouraged to follow the steps but also put their own spin on things by experimenting with different positions for things and creating their own unique backgrounds.

While my son’s pictures did not come out exactly like the ones in the presentation, he had a lot of fun and was proud of the final outcome. With 9 lessons, you can cover one-quarter of the year using Level I and then move on to Levels II and III if you want. For level I, the supplies needed are pretty minimal and easy to obtain. The entire level costs less than $30 and you can purchase individual lessons if want as well. We enjoyed this program a lot and still have a few projects to complete, and I think we might look into another level after. I think it’s a great addition to any homeschool, and you could also use it for summer fun.

To learn more, connect with ArtAchieve here:
ArtAchieve on Facebook

ArtAchieve on Pinterest

ArtAchieve on Google+

ArtAchieve on Instagram

To see what other members of the crew had to say about this program and the other levels available, click here:
Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

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