Posts Tagged Mosaic Reviews
A Light for my Path: An ABC Book
Posted by jlsgrant in Book & Product Reviews on October 15, 2013
I was excited to receive a copy of this brand new alphabet book published by Apologia Press, written by Davis Carman and illustrated by Alice Ratterree. Even though, my own children are now teenagers, I remember the days spent curled up reading our favorite alphabet books when they were just toddlers. So I was happy to be chosen to review A Light for my Path.
Here’s the synopsis from the publishers website:
“Help your children fall in love with the Word of God while learning their ABCs. Snuggle up on the couch together with this beautifully illustrated book based on one of the most beloved passages in the Bible. A Light for My Path is an alphabet book and so much more. Written to help children develop an abiding love and deep respect for God’s Word, each page is infused with the wonder of Scripture and God’s creation. In addition to illustrating the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet, the book also introduces families to the twenty two letters of the Hebrew alphabet using the acrostic Psalm 119. This gorgeous 80-page volume is sure to be treasured in your home for years to come.”
A Light for My Path is truly a creative approach to the tradition alphabet book. Each page starts with the words, ” God’s Word, Law, Statutes, Decrees, Commands, and Precepts are,” then proceeds with an adjective to describe God’s Word starting with a letter of the alphabet, along with a creature that starts with that same letter. Here’s one of my favorite examples:
The illustrations are beautiful and have a peaceful tranquility to them. I love how the artist has incorporated creatures from the previous page into each illustration. For instance, on the page for “B” there is a butterfly featured, but there is also an ant, from letter “A” climbing up the stem of the plant. The pages for letter “C” features a caterpillar, but a butterfly is seen flying in the distance. Very creative! 🙂
Here on the page for the letter “X”, you can clearly see the whale from the previous page gently diving into the water.
While the illustrations include things in creation that start with that particular letter, it is not spelled out on the page and I found myself wishing that the text spelled out the name of the featured creature along with the adjective. While most of the pages are obvious like “Absolute,” with a picture of an ant and “Blessings,” with a picture of a butterfly, there are a couple that are not. (The page above being the best example.) I’m not sure if young children would recognize the Narwal, Quail, Urchin and especially the Xantus’s Hummingbird. (When I got to X, I was stumped on what image on the page actually started with the letter X. There is, however, a key in the Introduction section of the book.)
The second part of A Light for my Path, is Psalm 119 (NIV version). Each page has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, to go along with that stanza of the Psalm, which is an acrostic poem.
When my kids were young, our collection of Alphabet books were always among their favorites. I love how A Light Unto my Path incorporates the beauty of God’s creation with the concept of learning the alphabet. With it’s beautiful text and illustrations, this could truly become a family favorite.
You can find this book, along with other books, curriculum, planners and other homeschooling resources at the Apologia website, by clicking the logo. There is a free sample excerpt of A Light for my Path available for your review before purchase!
ISBN: 978-1-940110-03-5, Age: Pre-School read-aloud, Price: $14.00 (as of this writing)
Disclaimer: Several members of the Mosaic Reviews team were given a copy of this book in exchange for their honest review. No other compensation of any kind has been received. To read more opinions about this product, please click the Mosaic Reviews icon.
Review: Homeschool Programming, TeenCoder C#
Posted by jlsgrant in Curriculum Reviews on September 3, 2013
When I received notice that there was an opportunity to review TeenCoder C# Year Pack by Homeschool Programming, Inc, I immediately jumped online to put my name in the hat! The Astronomer, age 14, has always enjoyed his time on the computer and has the strong logic skills needed to conquer programming, so I was thinking this would be a great opportunity for him to stretch his wings a bit.
Before we get to the actual review, let me give you a brief synopsis about this product from the website:
“The TeenCoder C# Series and TeenCoder Java Series are designed for 9th-12th grade students looking for a more in-depth study of computer programming. These courses can be used for high school computer elective credit, enhancing transcripts, and preparing a college-bound student for a technical degree.”
These “courses are self-study and can be completed on the student’s own computer, at their own pace. You can steer your student in the right direction with no prior programming knowledge. Students only need typical computer usage skills to start; we will teach them programming from the ground up!”
Maybe you’re a little like me in this area; I have a very, very limited knowledge of any computer programming. Thankfully this course comes with everything your student needs to work independently. TeenCoder has a textbook, activity starters, instructional documents, and a solution guide for all of it. There are also tests, answer keys, and even videos if you need them. If you’re unsure how to grade your student, there is guidance provided for you. And If you get stuck at any point, there is free technical support available. So that took away most of my fear and trepidation about attempting something like this at home.
(For more specific information about what is included in TeenCoder C# Series, please visit their website.)
Reviewing TeenCoder was a good opportunity for a couple of reasons…sometimes people, you know, the nay-sayers, ask home schoolers how they can possibly teach high school level classes. I’ll even admit, that in the area of computer programming, it would be something I would have never even attempted to do at home, thinking like our critics, that the subject is clearly beyond my ability. If I am being totally honest, at first glace, I thought…oh no, what have I gotten myself into? When I started glancing through the textbook, I found myself a little overwhelmed. But then I remembered The Astronomer’s natural abilities are very different from my own. And I handed it over.
I think probably for us, (ok, me) the hardest part was getting started! Digging into something totally different, left me with more than a little bit of apprehension…
I thought the first chapter was a little dry; he came down after reading it with a big grin on his face telling me how interesting it was!
I started reading the next section, and the words started to blur on me….I was scared! He sat down, read the chapter with no problem and came to get me, with a big fat grin on his face, to show me how he had just made a “button” using C#. As he moved on to adding pictures and linking to a website, his excitement for the process grew… And that was just the start! (Check out that nice picture he added!)
As we continue with this course, I am looking forward to the hours he’ll spend learning how to do something he is interested in. He will be working independently, but thanks to Homeschool Programming, Inc., I don’t need to be an expert in all things. (And we can tell our nay-sayers, you’re right, sometimes it does take a village… our village just looks a little different than yours.)
Reviewing TeenCoder was a good exercise in relinquishing control to my very capable student. For the final project, The Astronomer will create a graphical chess game, using the skills learned throughout this course. Once we have completed the first semester, Windows Programming, we will continue with the second semester, Game Programming.
Bottom line, if you have a high school student who is interested in learning computer programming, TeenCoder is an excellent place to start.
This product can be purchased directly from Homeschool Programming Inc. (Watch this demo video for a sample.)
Price: $155.00 course and videos, or $130.00 course only, $30.00 Video only (price as of this writing)
There are also additional products available for younger age groups:
KidCoder: Visual Basic Series (6 – 8th Grade)
WIndows and Game Design
KidCoder: Web Design Series (4 – 12th Grade)
Beginning & Advanced Web Design
TeenCoder: Java Series (9 – 12th Grade)
Java & Android Programming
Other members of the Mosaic Reviews team were also provided with copies of TeenCoder C# and other products for review purposes. Click the Mosaic icon to head over and see what other families thought about these products. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation of any kind has been received.