Monday, August 18, 2014

SchoolHouse Review ~ Romans Road Media

Recently, I was given a product to review that I found quite fascinating. The program is called Old Western Culture: The Greeks from Romans Road Media. It is one part of a four year study on Old Western Culture: A Christian Approach to the Great Books. The Greeks is a DVD set that includes 16 DVDs, divided into 4 units. It has over 20 hours of instruction. It also includes a workbook and printable teachers manual. It is a full year program intended to be used with grades 9-12. Each unit takes approximately 9 weeks to complete. There is a recommended schedule in the beginning of the workbook. It is expected to spend 1-3 hours a day, 5 days a week on the course. If completed, each year of Old Western Culture is a double-credit for literature and social studies. You can also choose to break up the units and use them as an elective. 

Roman Roads Media Review

Because this course covers the "Great Books" it is required to get your hands on them. You have 3 options. You can purchase the recommended translations, use a copy you already own (or get from the library) or you can download the ebook version which is not recommended but will do. Here is a list of the books needed. 

Before I tell you what I thought of this program and how we used it, I want to put a disclaimer on this. The program covers mature topics. Paganism, sexual immorality, nudity and violence are all encountered. Please know this ahead of time and use this program with caution. Only you know what maturity level of your child and what you allow in your home.

As I mentioned, this course is divided into 4 units.

Roman Roads Media Review

The Epics: It covers both the The Iliad and The Odyssey. It takes you on a journey through the life of Homer.
Drama and Lyric: It covers tragedies and comedies of Greek theater using Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides plus other minor poets.
The Histories: Through Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon we learn about Greek history.
The Philosophers: It covers the most important works of Plato and Aristotle explaining the influence of these men in the past and today.

Along with each DVD is a "Guide to the Art" booklet. It is filled with beautiful paintings (along with descriptions of each painting) that go along with the unit.

Originally, I got this course for Alyssa (14). After I received it and looked over it, I thought it was a bit much for her. So I enjoyed it myself. I did not follow any schedule. I just listened to the lectures and worked through the lecture questions as I had time. Usually in the evenings after the kids went to bed. That allowed me to be able to concentrate much better. Although once, Alyssa decided to sit down and watch it with me. She found it to be very interesting. I am working on her curriculum for this year. I have not decided yet if I am going to include this or not. The program is definitely geared toward Classical education. I have always steered AWAY from classical education in our home but I actually enjoyed this course. If I do not use it this year with Alyssa, I may add it on next year. I even thought about holding off and going through this course together with her next year.

When I looked at the list of the "Great Books", I was a little intimidated. Okay, a lot intimidated. After watching the very first episode, I no longer felt that way. The instructor, Wes Callihan is an amazing story teller and very easy to listen to. Although I felt like this might even be over my head, it wasn't. Mr. Callihan makes the lecture easy to follow. His passion on this topic is very evident. I read in the workbook that he has 6 children and 6 grandchildren. I can only imagine how they all love to listen to him tell stories.

I started with the first unit, The Epics. To be completely truthful, I was clueless starting this. I have heard the names mentioned but had no understanding of their importance or even just basic information about them. I am sure some of this was covered in high school but I was not interested in much in those days. I find history extremely intriguing now. In the Epics course, I learned so much about the Greek culture, how differently people thought at the time of the great books and the importance in understanding this time period. I really enjoyed learning about Homer, his life and his poems.

Along with the reading, lectures and workbook questions, there is also additional assignments.
~ A term paper that is to be 750-1200 words long. The topic can be anything based on the terms lectures or reading.
~ A final exam. It can be downloaded from their website.

My overall thoughts are that it is a solid, interesting program. I enjoyed Mr. Callihan and his lectures. I think that if you follow a classical education it would fit perfectly into your homeschool. If you do not, you will still find it a valuable resource. It has a christian perspective that I love. I am ok with the violence but I don't really like the nudity. Obviously, it can be a bit distracting. I know that many other homeschool families do not have a problem with it. This program does not have nearly as much as I have seen in other classical programs. So it is really for each family to decide. Now I just need to decide to use it this year or next with Alyssa.

This course can be purchased in two ways through Romans Road Media. You can buy the DVDs or you can use it as a streaming online class. Both can be purchased for $224. Right now, they are having a sale and you can purchase the online course for only $199.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ August 15th

The Pebble Pond


1. Do you feel like you eat the same meals over and over and over again? Goodness, I do. I'd love to change things up a bit. Any ideas?

2. I have tremendously cut down my soda intake. Can I get a "Hallelujah"?!

3. It was the week of bee stings here. Alyssa got stunk on her foot, Morgan got stung on her eye and I got stung on my foot and my hand!

4. I really need to get my butt in gear. I have school books to get together, school to plan, a garden to tend, a family to love and I'm ready for a nap. ;)

5. This was an amazing blog post by Ann Voskamp. Did you read it? If not, you should.


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Friday, August 8, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ August 8th

The Pebble Pond

Hi all! I just wanted to thank you all so much for following my blog. I also want to send a special thanks to all the ladies that link up with me every Friday. 
I can't always comment on your blogs but I do try to read them. 


1. So this week was pretty scary. Most of you probably already know this from TOS and Facebook but I was in the hospital for 2 days. I was having heart palpitations, tightness in my chest and a slew of other fun things. The doctors have ruled out anything serious. Thank God!! I have to wear a heart monitor for THIRTY days. Yes, you heard that right. After that I follow up with a cardiologist. Getting older kind of stinks!

2. My whole family was incredibly amazing while I was in the hospital. That is TWO stays in the hospital this year. Blah. Anyway, my husband really stepped up to the plate. He even brought me a shirt with his cologne on it because he knows I can't sleep very well with out him. Ummmm....yeah, he is a keeper.

3. My house is a mess. The end.

4. I have a slew of cucumbers and ones that are ready to be pickles! Yay!

5. I'm thinking about having a yard sale. I haven't had one for years. We moved the kids bedrooms around. Carter and Morgan were still sharing a room. We were waiting until we moved to put all the girls together but that is taking longer than excepted because we cant find anything! After moving the kids around I came across so much stuff to get rid of.

 Want to join us?
Here are the rules. They are simple.
~ Link up your Random 5 on Friday post.
~ Add a link back to me somewhere in your post.
~ Please make sure to put the direct link to your blog post not just your blog. I like to read and comment on all of you but I can not always do it right away and I do not have time to look for it. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SchoolHouse Review ~ 3P Learning (Mathletics)

I wanted to continue school through the summer. My intentions were great but the actually doing was slow coming. I did make sure to keep math and reading consistent though.

Mathletics from 3P Learning made that even easier for me. Mathletics is an award winning online math supplement. It is recommended for the child to use the program 3 times a week for 20 minutes. It is intended for K-12.

Mathletics Online Math Review

When I got this review, I knew that my kids would love it. I have a few kids that love math and a few that hate it but I could tell from researching their website that the kids would enjoy this kind of math.

I used this program with Carter and Morgan who are both in 5th grade. Carter likes math a bit more than Morgan but this program had a few things that caught her attention right away. The biggest being the ability to play around with her own avatar.

Once the child sign into their account for the first time, they are able to make an avatar for their account. They get to pick out all the fun things like clothes, hair and nose shape. As the child works through the program, they earn credits that can be used to "buy" fun accessories for their avatar. What girl doesn't love that, right? Carter enjoyed it too but not nearly as much as his sister.

Mathletics has over 1200 different learning activities. From interactive games to printable worksheets. We stuck more to doing the interactive games. Along with the child account there is also a parent account. From here, I was able to customize the kids work and see a very detailed report of how well (or not so well) they were doing.

Once the kids sign into their account, they can choose the activities the would like to play. There are so many options that really help keep this program fun. It never has to be the same.

Both Carter and Morgan used the 5th grade level. There are options to change the grade level. This program covers so much that it is hard to put it into words. They covered topics such as fractions, geometry, problem solving...just to name a few. Some parts of it was hard for them and some parts were not. It was very interactive and that also helped to keep them intrigued. I had them play a few times a week. They always had to do rock, paper, scissors to see who would go first and they would time each other so they didn't miss out on their own turn.

I love this program. I love that it kept the kids doing their math and loving it at the same time. I also loved the ability to closely monitor the kids progress.

The program costs $59 for one student for a complete year. Be sure to check out what the rest of the crew had to say.
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ August 2nd

The Pebble Pond

1. We spent the day yesterday looking at vehicles. We are torn. We need a new van. At this point, I can not even believe our van is still running. A full size van is very hard to find. It is a gas hog. Frankly, I am tired of driving the beast. IF we could find one we would probably just go that route but like I said we can't find one. So we have been looking at SUVs and minivans. If we go that route then we would carry Taylor's wheelchair on the back on a wheelchair carrier. I am a little nervous about doing this but I would LOVE to drive something smaller.

After some research, I have discovered that a minivan and most SUVs can not carry the load of a wheelchair on the back. It has to be a full size SUV. Ugh. If only we were millionaires. We are stuck. No idea what we are going to do.

2. We took the kids Go Cart racing. They had a blast! It was the first time they have ever done anything like that.


3. Taylor has been doing so good walking. This week she even walked OUTSIDE! She loved it.



4. I highlighted my own hair. Yes, yes I did! Guess what? It actually turned out!



5. Brian and I celebrated 17 years since our first date on Monday. We are not actually sure of the exact date. We just know it was the end of July. :) We went to get ice cream and had an ice cream fight. It was love at first scoop. Haha! On Monday, we went out and got ice cream, of course. It didn't end in an ice cream fight though. We clean up enough messes. ;)


Want to join us?
Here are the rules. They are simple.
~ Link up your Random 5 on Friday post.
~ Add a link back to me somewhere in your post.
~ Please make sure to put the direct link to your blog post not just your blog. I like to read and comment on all of you but I can not always do it right away and I do not have time to look for it. Thanks!

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