“All your children will be taught of the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace,” (Isaiah 54:13).

Friday, July 27, 2012

Used Curriculum for Sale

Hi Everyone,

I know that registration is around the corner (in fellowship hall at Trinity, August 14th, at 12:30 for returning members and 2:00 for new members), and the beginning of the school year (for those taking summers off) is starting soon. So, most of us have our minds on curriculum and lesson plans.

Maybe you wanted to come to the used curriculum sale and couldn't make it, or maybe you were there but didn't find what you were looking for.

If so, please use this post as a means to comment about what you have for sale, or to note the items you are looking for, and hopefully it will help us all.

Be as specific as you can so others will know what you need or what you are selling. And don't forget to leave your name and contact phone number! (I do not recommend leaving an email address, as spam programs can pick it up and target your email.)


Selena Campbell

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Science Fun with Gelatin

..and lots of candy!

Who knew science could be so fun, and calorie-filled? (ha)

For science this year, we are using Apologia's Young Explorer Series book "Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology."  So far, we are all enjoying it very much.

Do you know the difference between anatomy and physiology?

Sara says, "Anatomy is how your body is made, and physiology is how it works."

We made cell models out of gelatin, which represented the cytoplasm. Then we inserted several different candies to show the different organelles, or "little organs," such as mitochondria (ever read "A Wrinkle in Time?"), lysosomes, and the endoplasmic reticulum, to name a few.

Is it obvious that Kyla does not like gelatin?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reminder--Curriculum Sale Tomorrow

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick reminder that our Christmas in July Curriculum Sale is tomorrow, Tuesday, July 24th, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.  I will be there by 8:30, Lord willing, so you can come early to setup.

Please remember that everyone is responsible for setup and take-down of their items, as well as the monitoring of their sales. We also require you to be there in time to pack up any unsold things -- please do not leave anything behind for us to clean up!

The fellowship hall doors at Trinity will be unlocked, so you can park by that entrance when you come tomorrow.

Do you know someone who is looking for new curriculum? Invite them to our sale!

If anyone has questions, please feel free to call me at 304.363.0944.

Selena Campbell

Friday, July 20, 2012

Elementary Website for Supplemental Help

I found this website -- http://havefunteaching.com/ -- today while searching for some word number flash cards.The site has a very nice, printable set of  those flash cards  (0 zero  - 100  one hundred), as well as many other flash cards and other free downloads, including:

  • Blank Lesson Plans
  • Word Lists
  • Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and other worksheets
  • Fun Create-Your-Own worksheets
  • And much more.

If you are teaching elementary kids and want something to compliment your studies, you may want to check out this site.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Curriculum Review: Math-U-See

by Jessica Peterman

Our family has been homeschooling for six years now, and I must confess, we’ve done our fair share of curriculum hopping.  But there is one area, however, where I’ve been happy from the start.  Enter Math-U-See. 

Math-U-See was created by Steve Demme, a math teacher and homeschooler of 4 boys.  In my estimation, it is very different than many of the mainstream math textbooks out there. 

First (and perhaps most important for me), the program includes an instructional DVD to teach the parent how to teach the lessons.  Or you and your child can watch the DVD together, which is what we do most of the time.  This is a step not to be skipped, because although I did fairly well in math, I’m learning so much more of the why’s and how’s from Mr. Demme’s methods.  He also gives you a few different ways to solve problems that you most likely didn’t learn in school. 

The program only covers one new skill at a time, and works on review after the first few pages of introducing the new topic.  This worked well for my kids who would be thrown off by busy math pages that skipped from addition, telling time, and a couple other skills all at the same time.  The program’s goal is for the student to practice the skills, master the skills, and ultimately, be able to teach them back to you. 

My kids’ favorite part of the program is the blocks.  Starting with the first level, the Primer, the kids work with and solve problems with colored blocks.  They build large numbers, learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and even fractions with these manipulatives.  (The fraction ones are especially cool!)  All of which is great for hands on or visual learners.  After they get the hang of things with the blocks, they move towards regular computations.

I would say that the only areas that aren’t covered as thoroughly as I’d like are money, time and measurement.  He does touch on these things, but if these don’t come easily to your child, then you might want to supplement a bit. 

Check out the program and get a free sample DVD at Mathusee.com

Curriculum Review: Learning Language Arts Through Literature

by Jessica Peterman

In our home we’ve used Learning Language Arts Through Literature for 3 years.  I wasn’t entirely unhappy with the program and I know some really love it.

I’m switching things up next year for a few different reasons.   Here is a quick pro and con look at LLATL from what I observed from the 2nd –6th grade levels).

  • Focus on good literature  (this is my FAVORITE part) and lots of exposure to excerpts of different books.
  • Built in practice for copywork and dictation for those who follow the Charlotte Mason Method or Classical Education.
  • Gentle, not overwhelming introduction of grammar concepts
  • Book studies on complete novels
  • Units for additional skills such as poetry writing, journaling, story writing, research that are spread out over a few weeks. 

Cons:  (for my family anyway :-)
  • Not much in the way of spelling or vocabulary.  There are some short lists taken from the dictation and vocab from the book studies.  But one of my children needed more challenge, while the other needed a more systematic approach to spelling, so I ended up supplementing a lot.
  • Not a lot of direct writing instruction—as in how to construct a sentence or paragraph.  I believe that the authors’ philosophy is that the students will learn this as they complete their copywork and dictation.  And I have to admit, they have picked up a lot that way.  But if you have a struggling writer, you might need a little extra in this area.
  • Grammar might err on the side of too gentle?  Again, I have one that needs challenged a bit more and one that needs more practice than what this program provides. 

Final thought… There are so many parts of the language arts puzzle, and every child has strengths and weaknesses.   I have no doubt that there are many children who would do great with this program all the way through.  There are so many good things about it; I hate to move on.  It served us well for three years, but kids change and grow and sometimes you’ve got to make a switch.  Who knows, it might end up being just what my youngest needs!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Curriculum Review: Saxon 3 Math

by Selena Campbell

I used Saxon 3 Math with my two youngest children, Sara (age 7, 2nd grade; and Iain, age 8, 3rd grade). It was easy to teach them both, as Saxon is very repetitious.

If you don’t like to plan lessons, this is the math program for you. It is fully scripted, down to what to say to your children. Your only requirement as teacher is to read the lesson and get the required manipulatives and worksheets together for your kids (which you do need to do in advance).

After the first few lessons where the basics were introduced, each lesson started out by filling in a “meeting strip.” This includes the date, the “number of the day,” which is that day’s lesson number, and creating some equations using that number (e.g., Lesson 9 would have “9” as number of the day, and equations could be 4+5, 10-1, etc). There is a number pattern to complete (counting by 5’s or 7’s, etc). A “clock” fill-in-the-blank works with telling time, and there are coin cup blanks for counting coins in a cup—one of my kids’ favorite parts. The last thing is the “problem of the day,” a very age-appropriate/lesson-driven word problem.

In addition to the meeting strip, a monthly calendar is maintained in a meeting book, with daily temperatures recorded and comparisons made between daily temps, as well as other activities.

All of the above are done with each lesson, then a new concept is introduced, ranging from “Telling time to the Hour” (Lesson 1) to Graphing Points on a Coordinate Plane (Lesson 140). As you can see, much is covered in this program.

This program does use several manipulatives in addition to the workbooks:

o   pattern(geometric-shaped) blocks
o   counting chips/colored tiles
o   number charts
o   clocks
o   thermometer
o   rulers
o   yardstick
o   and other misc things.

Most items are available for purchase from sellers of the Saxon program (I purchased it from Rainbow Resource), but you could easily buy this curriculum and look through what is required before making a decision to buy the supplemental materials. If you are creative, you can use something else you already have (such as M&Ms for counting and sorting—yum!).

My children had fun with this math, and I enjoyed teaching it. The variety of activities kept it fun, and my kids had a ball checking the daily temperature (especially when our thermometer broke and they got to take turns calling the time & temperature number.)

My only complaint is the program is black and white (no colored pages at all), and the worksheets are printed on very thin paper, which makes it hard to tear them out (and easy to damage them when erasing).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Urgent Prayer Needed in RE: UN Treaty

Please read Luke 18:1-8, if you have ever wondered whether your prayers make a difference.

This is a copy of an email sent to me by a family that works to lobby in Washington on behalf of homeschooling families in West Virginia. Please read carefully and pray for the points listed:

Dear friends,

Yesterday our family went to Washington as part of CAP day for HSLDA.  We were lobbying several house offices because a house judicial subcommittee will be meeting next Wednesday about the Parental Rights Amendment.  This is a first step in getting it to full committee.  (If you are not updated, visit www.parentalrights.org)

We were also lobbying Senate offices because of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  That United Nations treaty has been signed by Obama, is coming to the full Foreign Relations Committee this Thursday, and is expected to come to the Senate floor for ratification vote soon.  That treaty would give the government, rather than parents, say over educational decisions for children with disabilities - among other things like outlawing spanking.  All that is needed is 2/3 approval by the Senators present at the time of the vote.  As with the PRA, our constitution's sovereignty clause would make the treaty the law of the land above all but the Constitution. 

Would you
1.  Pray about the Senate committee hearing tomorrow!  Pray for Mike Farris, who will be providing legal opinion, to have wisdom and favor!  Pray that the committee will not vote to bring the treaty to the floor for a vote.  Pray that if it does go to Senate vote it will heartily be voted down.  Pray that Rockefeller's staff will actually consider the things we presented to them.  Pray that Manchin would also learn of the dangers and vote against it (we only visited with his staff regarding the PRA). 

2.  Pray for next Wednesday's house subcommittee hearing for the PRA.  Pray that no one will be found to represent opposition to the Parental Rights Amendment.  Pray that the bill will not get amended negatively.  And pray that it will be sent to the full committee for review.

3.  Please contact McKinley's office if you are in his district (202-225-4172) and let them know you are a constituent.  Ask them to read all the information about the Parental Rights Amendment left with True (staffer's name) on Tuesday, July 10, by the Kincell family.  Ask McKinley to sign on as a co-sponsor of the PRA.  Ask them to let you know what he decides.  (If you were at the PRA rally during his campaign, express disappointment that he has not yet signed on when he promised to do so during the campaign.  However, do this nicely while thanking him for his verbal support of the amendment and his continued promise to vote for it if it comes to the house floor.) 

Or if you are in Rahall's district, contact his office (202-225-3452).  We visited with Lori D'Orazio in his office and left information.  She was less friendly, but did listen and was given the informational packet prepared by HSLDA.  Please feel free to pass this request along to others in his district so that he received follow-up calls from his own constituents.  A huge thank you for Marlo for allowing us to go on their behalf!  We're eager to know if they called you...

We were unable to get a meeting in Capito's office.

4.  Contact Manchin's office (202-224-3954) and thank them for meeting with the Kincell family yesterday.  Ask them to read the information about the Parental Rights Amendment left with Kimberly Waller. Then ask them to get back with you and let you know if Manchin will pledge support for the PRA and become a co-sponsor.  Please tell them that this is a non-partisan issue, all Americans love their children, and you would like to see Manchin lead the Democrats in taking action on this issue.  Also ask him to vote against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities if it comes to the Senate floor.

5.  You might also call Rockefeller's office and ask him to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities if it comes to the Senate floor.  However, if you have limited time, do the other things on the list first. 

6.  Lastly, all the Senators and many of the house offices were visited yesterday by volunteers like us.  Pray that the Lord would see fit to bless those efforts.  Pray also that He would continue to favor His people with His protection and have mercy on the remnant.  And pray for the staff members who field phone calls and visits and who then advise the legislators.  Most of them are in their 20's and hold remarkable sway ...

7.  Lastly, pray for the church to be in the battle for Truth and to contend for the liberty to obey God's commands.

IF YOU ARE A DEMOCRAT, your phone calls to Manchin or Rockefeller might count more!  In order to pass the PRA, democrats who will stand up for parental rights are needed.  If you know of a liberal democrat who will learn about this needed amendment, please encourage them to get involved!  Information is on www.parentalrights.org.  We'd also be glad to give you information or field questions. 

Feel free to forward this message to anyone who might be interested, but please only do that with discretion since it has our personal information.  And please blind copy the addressees.  For broader contacts, forward the recent emails from Parentalrights.org.  If you don't have those emails, we'd be glad to forward them to you.

Thanks, all. 
The Kincells

Psalm 127:1

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Registration and New Class Schedule

Hello Everyone,

As hard to believe as it may seem, it is a little over one month until registration begins for the new THESIS school year!

In an effort to make teaching -- and learning -- easier for everyone, we have split up the younger classes, once again.

This year, kindergarten will be a group by itself, as well as first grade. These will be groups A and B, respectively. Then group C will be grades 2-3, group D will be grades 4-5, group E will be grades 6-8 (middle school) and then grades 9-12 will be group F.

Another thing we did this year is split up the classes for the middle school grades, group E. Instead of two 1-hour classes, they will have three 40 minute classes, like the lower grades. High schoolers will still have two 1-hour classes.

Here is the proposed schedule for the new year:

Preschool classes will be held this year, and helpers are needed. Details will be provided at the registration meeting on Tuesday, August 14th.

***Please note -- preschool is available only to those younger children whose older siblings are in one of the following groups:

Group A -- Kindergarten

1:00 -- Gym (Janine Tomko)
1:40 -- Art  (curriculum can be provided, teachers needed)
2:20 -- Science (Jessica Peterman, co-teacher needed)

Group B -- 1st Grade

1:00 - Sign Language (Shannon Jackson, 1st semester)  Math Fun (Allison Horne, 2nd semester) 
1:40 -- Gym (Helen Gregor or Kelly Higgins)
2:20 -- Art w/ the Masters (Liz DeRoos & Albani St. Martin Brown)

Group C -- 2-3 Grades

1:00 -- Lego Show & Tell (Charli Utt, Tracey Moore & Jen Cogar 1st semester)
            Irresponsible Science (C. Utt, T. Moore & Jen Cogar, 2nd semester)
1:40 -- Money Sense (Selena Campbell, co-teacher needed)
2:20 -- Gym (Kelley Higgins or Helen Gregor)

Group D -- 4-5 Grades

1:00 -- Gym in the NEW Gym ( teacher needed)
1:40 -- Learning about Elections (1st semester)  (Heather Sprenger, co-teacher needed)
            Science & Art Unit Studies (?)  (Heather Sprenger, co-teacher needed)
2:20 -- Money Sense (Selena Campbell, Angela Oxford)

Group E -- 6-8 (middle school) Grades

1:00 -- Public Speaking (Jessica Peterman, first semester, co-teacher needed)
            Mythbusters-type Science (J. Peterman, second semester, co-teacher needed)
1:40 -- West Virginia History (Liz DeRoos, co-teacher needed)
2:20 -- Boys' Gym (John Keener) / Girls' Gym (Melissa Hoskins)

Group F -- 9-12 (high school) Grades

1:00 -- Class subject (Debate class?) and teachers needed
2:00 -- Dissection (Charli Utt, Tracey Moore, Jen Cogar, 1st semester)
            Photography (Jessica Lueken, co-teacher needed, 2nd semester)

 (Yes, I will get this put into the table on our "Classes" tab whenever I can get my HTML coding and the blogger editor to cooperate!)

Please note that our registration is open until the class size limit of 25 is reached.

**If you are willing to help co-teach a class, please speak up! Our cooperative group only works when we all work together. Please prayerfully consider responding to one of the needs highlighted in blue in the schedule above. **

And, if you, or anyone you know, is interested in joining THESIS please be sure to attend the registration meeting in the fellowship hall at Trinity Assembly of God, on August 14th, at 12:30 for returning members and 2:00 for new members.

Questions? You can get our contact info by clicking here.