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Category Archives: Curriculum Reviews

Philosophy Adventure Curriculum Giveaway

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292492_10201441584464751_1455421991_n I’m excited to be one of the chosen to introduce you to a brand new curriculum. It’s so new that it’s release date is tomorrow, June 1, and I’m going to give you have a chance to win a digital download copy. 943328_10201324534458574_1071171589_nPhilosophy Adventure–Pre-Socratics  is the latest publication from Homeschool Adventures Co. The basic goal of Philosophy Adventure is:

Philosophy Adventure™ is a program designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of philosophy.

One thing that truly intrigued me about this curriculum was the oxymoron of philosophical/biblical worldview. Truly throughout history philosophy and biblical teachings have run contrary to each other. In fact many college students, as well as adults, have been led astray from their biblical roots after studying these great thinkers of long ago.In their search for the answers to what author, Stacy Farrell, labels the “universal questions:”

  1. “Where did we come from and why are we here?”

  2. “Why is there evil, suffering and death in the world?”

  3. “Is there hope for our future?”

After having discussions with some highly intelligent, deep-thinking, analytically-minded individuals regarding these questions, I’ve come to the conclusion that in the quest for answers they have moved away from their biblical roots all because they tried to out-think God by limiting Him to the rules laid out by the worldly, philosophical man. So the best way to help prevent our children from being confused by worldly teachings is to ground them in God’s word.

As Christian homeschool parents, that’s usually our number one goal. 970121_10200526160373957_1679384993_nThis is where Philosophy Adventure will be your best friend. This curriculum introduces you and your students to great thinkers while using the Bible as the measuring stick for their ideologies. It also teaches all of us how to use the Bible as a reference guide for new ideas introduced to us through media, friends, and even those college professors and new acquaintances our fledglings encounter once they have flown from the nest.

Something that makes this program even better is that it isn’t just for teaching philosophy, its multi-purpose.

What homeschool mom doesn’t like that word? Philosophy Adventure has another advantage of being flexible and versatile. It can be used as a base curriculum for one year of high school–just add foreign language, math, and science. Of course you’ll need to consult your state standards, but your high school student can earn some credit for English Composition, World History/Geography, Speech/Communication, and Logic/Critical Thinking. As a supplement, you can use it as a semester or even quarter program. To reap the full benefits, I wouldn’t use it for less than a semester–unless you have a future Dr. Sheldon Cooper in your home.

Now that I’ve told you all about this program, let me give you a few facts. You can receive Philosophy Adventure in several ways. For you touchy, feely people, you can get the Complete Set print version. It retails for $89.95 and comes with The Reader, Student Workbook, and Teacher Resource CD. For those with space issues, but still like to have the physical product, you should check out The Reader with Resources CD option. The Reader comes in print format, but the student workbook is combined on the Teacher Resource CD in digital format and retails for $69.95. A complete set in digital format on CD, retails for $49.95, or you can download the entire program digitally for $39.95. Honestly, no matter which set you order, for what you get, this is a very inexpensive program.

If you’re looking for something a little different, and truly refreshing for your middle/high school student, you should give this a view. There’s really nothing like it I’ve seen.

To enter for your chance to win your very own digital copy of this curriculum, click on Entry-Form, and you’ll be taken to the entry. I couldn’t add this form to my blog due to WordPress.com regulations.

To read more reviews, click on the frog

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MusIQ Homeschool–My Review

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One thing I’ve never shared on any of my blogs is that I’m a Classically trained pianist. For seven years I took lessons from a sweet, soft spoken lady who met her husband at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music. In the small town I lived, the Walters’s raised up at least a couple generations of cultured pianist. Training from them was highly regarded. When people found out you took lessons from them, you were expected to know something.

I haven’t really thought about those lessons for years until I received a request to review a music program from Adventus, a company that specializes in computer software designed to teach piano and music appreciation. The curriculum I received is MusIQ Homeschool. This included lesson plans for both an early learning program and a multi-level learning program.

MusIQ Homeschool is actually two separate programs. Children’s Music Journey is geared for younger students, ages 4-10, and is designed to be a 3 year program. Piano Suite is better suited for students aged 10 and over and covers 2 years, or your student can progress from Children’s Music Journey to Piano Suite. There are several purchase options for both programs, you can purchase a complete bundles, quick start sets, 1 year at a time, or a monthly subscription for $10.95. Looking at overall cost of this program, your child can take a 30-minute piano lesson for around $5–that’s a $1 less than my parents paid 30 years ago. I challenge you to find a quality piano lesson for that cost anywhere now.

As I stated above this program Adventus created isn’t just a way to teach kids how to play the piano. There is also an extensive study of the various periods of music, types of music, and composers. Beethoven and Scott Joplin and the two that come to mind right now.

Knowing my way around the piano, I wasn’t a bit intimidated to sit down and jump right in. For you parents who are not musically literate, or tone-deaf for that matter, you won’t have any problem managing this program. The MusIQ Homeschool lesson plans are laid out in outline form, and there is very little prep work. All you need to do is follow the plans. This program pretty much teaches itself. You are there for guidance. For younger students using Children’s Music Journey, you’ll need to read the lesson plans to them, but if you children are older and using Piano Suite, you can pretty much leave them on their own to do the lessons. Students are expected to practice around 30 minutes a day–typical expectations for any piano student. The MusIQ Homeschool lesson plans also include evaluation sheets that are self-explanatory, so you can tell if your student is progressing. As I said before, if your not musically inclined, don’t be intimidated. These are simple evaluations and you’ll be able to fill out the progress forms.

Even though Buttercup is older, I started her off in the Children’s Music Journey. I wanted her to have a firm foundation before tackling Piano Suite. She’s rapidly progressing through the animated lessons, and they are a bit babyish for her, but she’s having fun. She enjoys the simple games. I just let her work on the lessons until she’s ready to stop for the day. I will say that Buttercup could have handled the age appropriate Piano Suite. Generally, I have to remediate her lessons, but in this case it wasn’t necessary. So I do recommend following those guidelines and lesson plans closely to keep the student stimulated.

The only downside I’ve found with this program is setting it up. Be prepared to take an hour or so to get all of the software and manuals loaded and ready to go. Another problem I’ve encountered is with Windows 7. The cursor tends to lag and not move as it should. Buttercup becomes frustrated waiting for the mouse to catch up with the program. This could be just my computer because every system works differently.

This has been an extremely fun program. When your kids put their hands on this, they aren’t going to want to do any other school work. They will be begging for MusIQ Homeschool first thing in the morning. I can understand why, it’s definitely a program you can get lost in. I intend to continue to use this program and incorporate this into Buttercup’s curriculum plan for next year.

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