As a homeschool mom, I *love* having shelves full of resources- resources for parenting, devotions, and of course school! As part of The Crew, we reviewed the Resource Set from Institute for Excellence in Writing, which included:
These were SO fun to review because they are SO useful! I went to college for teaching; I graduated with my BSE in early childhood education in 2011. I love using what I learned in college with my children- a few of the things I learned 1) children learn best through quality literature, not textbooks, 2) children learn through hands on fun and games, and 3) teach students to use resources so they can educate themselves to become life long learners.
That is exactly what this entire resource set does!
The Timeline of Classics (view a sample HERE) is like having your own librarian with the knowledge of classic literature titles, in chronological order at your finger tips! I *love* this resource and cannot wait to use it more as we continue our studies and cycle through history a few times. It offers books, films, and audio pieces from literally every period of history in an easy to read spreadsheet format.
We have been reading about the vikings, and were able to find books that fit our topic and time period for the last few weeks. The list begins with The Ancients and ends with The Modern World. Each page of the spreadsheet also offers a beautiful quote related to that time period. The book is a soft cover with a nice spiral binding.
I really love this book!
The Teaching With Games Set is exactly what it sounds like- a workshop for parents and teachers to learn how to create and teach using games! (see a sample HERE) as well as an entire book of game ideas. The book is 177 pages & is broken down into 5 different sections:
- No-Prep Games
- Matching Card Games
- Question Games
- Math Facts games
- Make As You Teach Games
The book offers game titles with their instructions; games include their cards/pieces/pages that are ready for you to copy and use (there is permission to copy them as needed!), as well as templates for making your own games! Each game has a description and ideas for when it is most useful to use that particular game (ie:memorization, timeline, vocabulary, math facts, science definitions, etc).
My children are young so we adapted many of the games to fit our needs. We enjoyed the Academic 20 Questions game, using people from our current missionary and Bible studies (we also did it with our family members for my 3 year old). The matching games were also great for us; as there are many ready-to-go games to copy, cut out, and use just as they are. We had fun with the Avoid the Card: Complete in Christ game; we used it as character lessons for how we can clothe ourselves in Christ. Though you can use most of the games as they are, you can easily expand how you use them for even more learning. This resource as a whole is appropriate for all ages and will be useful for many years to come.
Included throughout are science games, geography games (I cannot WAIT to use all these as my children get older!), math and history games; most of the games are completely new to me! This is a must have resource for learning new concepts as well as reviewing.
The 2 DVDs and 1 CD set included is very helpful for parents and teachers. The 2 DVDs demonstrate how to use and adapt the games for every age group and group size. They are broken down into to discs: 1) No Prep Games and Matching Card Games and 2) Question Games, Math Facts Games, and Make As You Teach Games. The CD is actually the e-book of the printed material! This is *awesome sauce.* If you don’t have access to a fancy printer with a copier, (or just hate making copies) you can very easily print the materials you need from the e-book!
A Word Write Now is 112 spiral bound pages of creative, wonderfully organized words to choose from instead of your ordinary go-to adjectives. Unlike other thesauruses, which can be boring and hard to use, this book is organized by character qualities and behavior traits! It is divided into sections:
- Section A: Character Traits (ex: dishonest, anger, wisdom)
- Section B: Descriptive Words (ex: color, size, texture)
- Section C: Words for Movement and the Senses (ex: hands, smelling, thinking)
- Section D: Appendix
- Playing with Words – Make it fun!
- Transitions Not Related to Time
- Prepositions – Excellent for Memorization
- Categories of Literary Genres
- Definitions and Examples of Literary Devices
For each word in the thesaurus, you will find a definition, a lovely quote using or describing the word), quotes from classic literature, and then lists for alternative words for each part of speech: nouns, nouns character, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. There is even a column for writing in your own words (which could become a great mini-lesson in itself!).
I mean, I can’t even describe all the ways this resource is useful for writing! Students can use this thesaurus to write truly unique, meaningful pieces.
Overall, our thoughts are we really love this entire set. We have used it to enrich the language we use in our home through writing and narration.