Friday, April 18, 2014

Rescued Book #15: The Swamp Fox of the Revolution

The key figure in this week’s rescued book may be more familiar than most participants in the American Revolution thanks to a little film called The Patriot.  Mel Gibson’s character was a mash of at least two generals—Dan Morgan and Francis Marion, both of whom appear in the Landmark title.  The antagonist in the book, Col. Tarleton, head of the British cavalry was referred to as Tavington in the movie.  So let’s compare and contrast the film with this weeks rescued book…..

 

The Swamp Fox of the Revolution 

Holbrook, Stewart Hall, and Ernest Richardson (illus.) New York: Random House, 1959. 180 pp.

Similarities:

  • Marion was a veteran of a campaign against the Cherokees during the French and Indian War and was elected captain of his regiment.
  • His headquarters were in the swamps between the Santee and Pee Dee rivers.
  • His was the only remaining  force standing between Cornwallis and Washington’s armies in the north.
  • He did rescue captured American troops being marched away by British forces but instead of just being 1 person (his son in the movie) it was nearly 150 soldiers from Maryland.
  • Marion’s troops did attack British supply wagons and steal their food and ammunition for their own use.
  • Several buildings on Marion’s planation were burned by the British while he was away, not necessarily his house.

Differences:

  • Marion began to muster neighbors to join the fight upon his return from the vote to raise three regiments of militia in 1775 –at the beginning of the war, not after the siege of Charleston.  In fact, he might have been captured at Charleston if he hadn’t left the city to convalesce after breaking his ankle. 
  • The militia that fired two shots before retreating at the Battle of Cowpens was led by Dan Morgan, not Francis Marion.  Mel Gibson’s character was based on both men.
  • Francis  Marion and his men were not present at the Battle of Yorktown.
  • Francis Marion did not have any children at the time of the war.  At age 50, he married a spinster cousin.
  • Marion was a general, not a colonel.

The real Francis Marion was no Mel Gibson—he had a small, almost frail figure, he limped from the broken ankle, and was very soft spoken.  A member of his brigade summed him up as being “part rawhide and part vinegar, wrapped around the biggest heart on the Continent.”  Any boy would love reading about his exploits in this book.

My copy of The Swamp Fox of the Revolution is in desperate need of first aid.  The day I brought the book home from the Greater St. Louis Book Expo, I set it on the floor and my dog started to eat it!  Turns out the glue in old books contains sugar so it smelled like a treat to my otherwise good dog Della.  Take my experience as your warning – books belong on shelves when not being read, not the floor.

You can find a list of all my Rescued Books here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Star Chronicles

My husband, son, and I could be described as a Dark Sky Lovin’ family.  In the summers my husband teaches our son to find the constellations with his laser pointer, in the winter we bundle up in ski gear and sleeping bags to watch the Geminids meteor shower, and next week we’ve got an all-nighter planned to observe the full lunar eclipse.  One thing we’ve noticed when we meet up with other star gazers—the great majority of them talk more about Carl Sagan than the Creator of the Universe.  So when we learned of the opportunity to review a brand new, God-honoring astronomy resource we jumped on it.  Homeschooling mom, Dawnita Fogleman’s new publication is entitled  Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study of the Stars.

WE received a PDF downloads of the book, coloring pages for the young (or young at heart), and notebooking pages for older students.  Additional materials needed would be a Bible, a scrapbook or notebook to hold the journal pages, coloring & decorating supplies.  If you actually want to go outside and view the constellations you’re studying, a field guide or star locator would come in handy.  I printed out the notebooking pages and then transferred the files to my Kindle for easier reading.

The book is organized by the 12 constellations of the Zodiac which most readers will be familiar with, although the author stresses that this is NOT about astrology.  In fact, the chapter have titles like The Goat or A Bull instead of Sagittarius and Taurus.   Each lesson includes the title constellation and a handful of neighboring star patterns.  If the constellation (or stars within the constellation) are mentioned in the Bible, the author will focus on those verses first (using the King James version).

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:  Amos 5:8

In other cases, it is the picture represented by the stars that we can use as a spiritual reference.  Virgo is a virgin—this can lead us to discussions on the virgin birth, the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, etc. Or we can expand the idea to a virgin bride and discuss the Church as the Bride of Christ.  The author shares that Virgo is the first constellation in the Jewish New Year and prominent during the Feast of Trumpets.  Aries, the ram (a male lamb) is seen in the sky at the time of Passover, when male lambs are sacrificed –coincidence, I think not.

Sometimes the book really has to stretch to find a Biblical connection…Cygnus is a picture of a swan and to quote the text “there are no swans in the Bible, but another beautiful bird that is in the Bible a lot is the dove.”  I think it would have been fine to leave that constellation out if we couldn’t find a good tie in. 

Sometimes I think this stretching exercise could actually be misleading. Case in point-- the discussion on Canis Minor.  The text says “The largest star is actually a star system named The Carpenter.”   If you called it that in a conversation with other star gazers, they would have no idea what you were talking about because its common name is Procyon.  Even Wikipedia (which the author used for a lot of her research) cites “in Babylonian mythology Procyon was known as Nangar the Carpenter, an aspect of Marduk..” [emphasis added].  The Babylonians weren’t prophesying about Christ’s occupation before beginning his ministry. They actually named it after one of their own gods.

My son, who’s gone through two astronomy courses and earned his astronomy merit badge, also picked up on a few inaccurate statements like “Ursa Major is the Big Dipper.”  The Big Dipper is actually an asterism, or pattern of stars that form part of a larger constellation.  In this case the Big Dipper makes up the tail and hindquarters of the much larger Big Bear (lit. Ursa Major).

So while I wouldn’t use Star Chronicles alone as a Bible-based Study of the Stars, I do think it makes a great Star-themed Study of the Bible.  If you were doing a unit study on astronomy, you  could use this for your Bible time.   And this spring, when we go out to find new constellations in the sky we’ll discuss any Bible stories or verses that come to our mind along with the mostly mythological sources for the constellation names.

 

Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study of the Stars is available in Paperback or PDF Download (look at the graphic for a coupon code good for the PDF version only thru 4/20/14)

Paperback (8 1/2 X 11, full color) available at: CreateSpace ($25): https://www.createspace.com/4730823          

PDF ($12): http://foglemanforerunner.com/star-chronicles 

 

 

 

Coloring in PDF images

 

 

 

I’d like to start this post by thanking Amy Pak (from Home School in the Woods) for giving me permission to use her products during this tutorial.  We’ve been using her Time Travelers series as part of our history study this year.  As much as we love the reading, lapbooks, timelines, etc. there is one area my son finds less than appealing—coloring in all the hand drawn images.  Of course you aren’t required to color anything, but it does make everything more appealing to the eye.  So we’ve been importing images into Photoshop Elements and colorizing them there. Then, we’re not only studying history but getting some computer graphics skills as well.  Let’s start with a big project—the Battle Blitz game from The American Revolution Time Traveler.  The folder game is made up of two PDF files (one for each side of the folder game). select-file

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After putting the CD-ROM in my computer, I select File>Open and browse to my disk drive.  The file folder I want it PDFs/Lesson-Masters/M-19-1-BattleBlitz-1 .  You can see a thumbnail preview at the bottom.

 

 

picking-page

 

 

The Time Travelers files are arranged with one page per PDF file, but Photoshop Elements can pull one page or several from a file so we have to go through another pop up window.  There’s only one page to select here, but you can see a sample of a multi-page file in my Lapbooking tutorial from last year.

 

 

We finally have the page loaded in our work area.  You can see a portion of the page has a gray/white checkerboard pattern which only means it’s transparent on screen.  It’s a little distracting visually (especially when we start working up close) so I’m going to pull the whole image onto a new file with a white background.  Important Note:  Be sure and immediately Save your file with a NEW NAME (Save As) so you don’t lose your original image.

Battle-Blitz-as-imported

The easiest way to change colors is with the Paint Bucket Tool (it really looks like a tipping paint bucket spilling blue paint).  After clicking the tool, the curser also changes to a paint bucket (but black and white).  The key is the very tip of the spilling paint of the curser.  Whatever color it rests on when I left click the mouse will be turned to the selected foreground color.  And all the contiguous pixels of the same color will also be changed.  It’s probably easier to demonstrate by changing the word “Blitz” from black to red.

 

First I’ll change the foreground color…In the lower left corner you’ll see two overlapping squares (in the picture above one is green and one white).  If you click your mouse in the square a window will pop up and you can pick any new color. First click on the general color in the rainbow column and then pick somewhere in the large square for something specific.  In this case I want to make the word Blitz  bright red.

 

 

With my red color in the foreground and the Paint Bucket Tool selected, all I have to do is click the mouse when the tip of the spilling paint is on the object I want to recolor.  Below the letter B has turned red, but the other letters, while the same color, are not touching the B so they remain black. I’ll have to click on each letter (or part of a letter like the dot of the “I”).

After coloring in the title, I’m going to work on the water portions of the map with a nice light blue.  You’ll notice that as long as the wave lines don’t form an entire loop, the water color will fill the lakes to their edges.  We can run into a problem though if the area isn’t enclosed—look at the lakes around the Battle Blitz logo.  The edges near the box aren’t enclosed.  When we click to change the white to blue, that blue color will be carried to any contiguous white pixel and we’ll end up with the whole map colored blue (see below).

When this happens, the first step is to  choose Edit>Undo.  Then we need to draw lines to enclose the areas we want to color.  I switch to the brush tool and select a small pixel size (2-3 works fine), and draw a small line to connect the edges of the lake –I can keep the same color I’ve chosen for the water.

 

I’ve got to do that with each water area.  Sometimes you’ll need to really zoom in to 200 or 300 % so you can look for the gaps.  For example, when coloring in the ocean of this map I had gaps where the labels for New Jersey and Delaware crossed the shoreline.  With a little patience, I got the map colored (and the green arrow at the start).  Then I turned my attention to the flags around the border.

Notice how we run into the problem with the color bleeding into areas where we don’t want it again, in this case the stars in our field of blue.  These flags will be so small when printed, I don’t worry about drawing lines to enclose shapes.  I just switch the foreground color to white and use the brush tool to click where the stars should be in the pattern.

Now no one, least of all my son has the patience to color in all the flags around the page.  We’ve only got to do each once and then we can copy and paste for the other images.  I use the Rectangular Marquee tool (the dashed line box under the eye dropper) and click and drag over the flag and banner.  Then I choose Layer>New>Layer Via Copy.  With my new flag layer I need to erase the area where the battle and date are listed.  I do this with the Eraser Tool (it looks like a pink eraser).  I’ve hidden the white background in the image below so you can see the areas are transparent – the names of the other battles will show through. 

Then I copy this layer over and over (Layer>New>Layer Via Copy) as needed, moving it to the correct squares and rotating the image to match the layout.  I went over the process to rotate and flip layers in last year’s post on Lapbooking.   When placing the new layer over the old one, it’s often helpful to temporarily reduce the opacity so you can really align your images.  If you look to the layer section of the screen, you can see a place to adjust the opacity (normally 100%).  After aligning the images, return the opacity to 100%).

Yes, this is some work, but I count this time as computer skills/graphic arts on my son’s transcript—that’s a marketable skill in the business world.  Here’s our finished game board.

Tomorrow, we conclude our 5 Days of Photoshop for Homeschool with another, more subtle coloring technique so be sure and stop back.  In the meantime, check out some of my Crew mates 5 Days of … posts or click on the graphic to see all the participating blogs.

Beth @ Acorn Hill Academy ~ Nature Study
Aurie @
Our Good Life ~ Photography Tips and Tricks
Dinah @
The Traveling Classroom ~ Tips for Learning a Second Language
Julie @
Nurturing Learning ~ Art Resources
Tara @
This Sweet Life ~ Preparing for a New School Year
Sara @
Embracing Destiny ~ Purposeful Living
Rebekah @
There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining ~ Culinary Adventures for Boys
Hillary @
Our Homeschool Studio ~ Fitting in the Extras

April Blog Hop

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Photoshop Elements and the Daily Bugle

Note: If your just joining the five day series, you need to go back and read Day One and Day Two because we’ll be using the techniques we learned then today.  Also, thank you to Amy Pay of Home School in the Woods for her permission to showcase projects from The American Revolution Time Travelers CD.

 

This year we’ve been using several of the Time Travelers CD’s  as part of our history study.  One of the review tools created by Amy Pak is a newspaper of sorts.  The master PDF pages are to be printed out and assembled for the student to write on and illustrate.  Unfortunately for me, my son dislikes drawing and hates writing even more.  So I set about to see if we could add type and images to the PDF files with our Photoshop Elements---and it worked!  We have our newspaper for review of history facts for now and my son is picking up some practical (and marketable) computer skills in the bargain.  So let me show you how it’s done….

 

 

 

 

 

 

After putting the CD-ROM in my computer, I select File>Open and browse to my disk drive. The file folder I want it PDFs/Lesson-Masters/M-2-1-DailyBugle-1 . You can see a thumbnail preview at the bottom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Time Travelers files are arranged with one page per PDF file, but Photoshop Elements can pull one page or several from a file so we have to go through another pop up window. There’s only one page to select here, but you can see a sample of a multi-page file in my Lapbooking tutorial from last year.

 

 

The first page of the Daily Bugle opens in our work area. Important Note: Be sure and immediately Save your file with a NEW NAME (Save As) so you don’t lose your original image. Now if you’re like me, you’ll find that checkerboard background distracting.  All that means is that the background is transparent (in other words nothing will print there, leaving the paper blank).  Too make it easier on the eyes I’m going to use the paint bucket tool to “pour” white color over the background.  We’ll cover this feature more in tomorrow’s post on coloring PDF’s.  This won’t effect our printed paper at all—just save us some eye strain.

First let’s add a picture to that transparent box left on the right side of the page.   I found an image of the Boston Tea Party, but let’s define the space where it’s going to go using the Rectangle Tool (see Day One’s post if you need to review the procedure).

 

Rather than set a fixed size (since I don’t know it), I’m going to select the Unconstrained option and hold and drag my mouse over the area.  The shape will automatically be placed on its own layer above the background.

 

 

Then I will open my saved Boston Tea Party image, drag it up into the work area and use the Move Tool to position it over my blue shape.

 

 

 

The landscape image is too big for my space.  After I using the clipping mask (see Day Two) I can resize and nudge the image around and focus on the tea being dumped from the ship.

 

 

 

 

 

Now it’s time to work on the text.  We’ll put another rectangle shape over the lined area meant for writing – this time I’ll make it white.  Because this is going to be a considerable amount of writing—more so than the sentence we used on Day Two’s flash cards, I would have my son type his story into a Word document first.  That way we can use spell-check, etc.  I’ll just show you how to import the text.

First I highlight the paragraph written in Word , right click on it and choose Copy.

In Photoshop Elements, I’m going to select the Type Tool (the big T) and choose the font, size, color and alignment I want (this is covered in more detail in last year’s Day 3 post).  I’m going to select a small font size to start because I can always make it larger.  Then  I  click the mouse near the top of the white rectangle shape.  You should see a vertical black line blinking (I can’t use screen capture to show you because the cursor always disappears).  Then I right click the mouse and choose Paste.  The text will appear and wrap itself in the defined shape.

You can see I’ve got plenty of white space left so I’ll enlarge the font. With the Type Tool still selected I’ll click anywhere over the text –this will keep me in the same text layer instead of starting a new one.  Then I can click and hold the mouse and drag it over the entire paragraph to highlight it (It will now appear white on a black background).

 

 

 

With the text highlighted, I can go to the top of the screen and click on the down arrow next to the font size.  I’ll keep selecting the next larger size until I find one that fills my space.  When there start to be bigger gaps between predetermined sizes (say a jump from 48 to 60 pts) you may prefer to type in a number.

 

 

Just repeat these steps to fill in the other side of the page and you’ll end up with something like this.

Like it?  Did you notice the title and the flag had been colored in?  We’ll be learning how to color in PDF files tomorrow so come back.

In the meantime, check out some of my Crew mates 5 Days of … posts or click on the graphic to see all the participating blogs.

Beth @ Acorn Hill Academy ~ Nature Study
Aurie @
Our Good Life ~ Photography Tips and Tricks
Dinah @
The Traveling Classroom ~ Tips for Learning a Second Language
Julie @
Nurturing Learning ~ Art Resources
Tara @
This Sweet Life ~ Preparing for a New School Year
Sara @
Embracing Destiny ~ Purposeful Living
Rebekah @
There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining ~ Culinary Adventures for Boys
Hillary @
Our Homeschool Studio ~ Fitting in the Extras

April Blog Hop

 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Photoshop Elements for Flashcards Pt. 2

 

Yesterday we worked on building a template for creating our own flashcards.  Today we get to move on to the fun stuff—adding pictures and facts to remember.  Incidentally, these are one sided flashcards that work in pairs (1 picture/1 fact).  I use them for matching up exercises or playing the Memory game.  These aren’t like math flashcards where the student sees the problem on one side and the parent sees the answer on the other. 

I’ve been making American Revolution flashcards so I just Google the name of the individual and “portrait” to get started. When I find an image I like I click on it to bring up a larger preview and the click on “View Image” to bring up the picture in a blank window.

 

 

 

When you Right-Click the image in the new window you’ll have the option to Save Picture As… I’ve got a folder saved on my computer full of Revolutionary war figures so I’ll save the image there. When I’ve got 9 of them I can complete a page of flashcards.

 

 

 

 

 

I go into Photoshop Elements Edit and open my flashcard template and nine images. You can see them all at the bottom in the project bin. If you can’t see all your open pictures you may need to use the slide to the right of the project bin to scroll down.  First I double click on the template to bring it up into the work area and I select the Move Tool from the top left side of the screen.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Before you change anything, use File>Save As and save this template under a new name (Say Revolutionary portraits page 1).  That way you are not making changes to your original multi-layer template.

I click on the tan rectangle in the upper left corner –you’ll see a thin line around the shape and Shape 1 will be highlighted in the Layer box to the right.  Now I’m go to click on one of the portraits for the project bin and hold the mouse button down to drag the image up to the work area.

Whoops, what happened?  You can’t see the image can you?  That has to do with the order that we built the rectangular shapes.  Each new shape is placed on a layer above the previous one so while we dragged our image above Shape 1 it’s place below Shape 5 (the middle).  The image is there, you can see the outline of it.  Since all objects dragged up are going to be placed dead center, let’s do something about this right now. 

Find the layer named Shape 5 in the Layer section. Click and hold the left mouse button.  You should notice the cursor changing from a pointing finger to a clenched fist.  Now you can pull the layer down the screen which will in turn move it closer to the background of our multi-layer template.  I put my Shape 5 right above the background layer.  As you drag the Shape 5 layer down you should notice the portrait should be revealed.  Now we can use the move tool to drag the portrait over the rectangle in the upper left corner.

 

 

None of the images I’ve chosen are exactly the same size as the tan rectangle I’ve created.  That’s okay because I plan to use the shape as a clipping mask (See last year’s Day 2 tutorial for more details).  For now all I need to do is click and drag the corner square of the portrait to make the image bigger than the tan rectangle.  Then I hold the Ctrl key and tap G.

 

All at once the portrait is confined to the size of the tan rectangle and the portrait layer appears indented above the Shape 1 layer.  I can still move and resize the portrait layer to tweak what appears in the space.  This may be more evident when I work on the landscape image of Ethan Allen.

You can see the picture is far too wide.  After applying the clipping mask the image looks like this…

I can still move the image around so that Ethan is in the center of the frame (look at my finished work).

 

If you read my post about making explorer flash cards you’ll recall I wish I had added the names to the pictures—after all I wasn’t trying to have my son be able to pick Abigail Adams out of a line up.  I’ve added text to each portrait to include their name and even found a .psd file of John Hancock’s famous signature.

  Now let’s briefly talk about the corresponding flashcards that will be filled with facts of these great Americans.  We need to start with the blank template file (I hope you took my advice and saved your portrait project under a new name and you still have a blank template to go back to). First we’ll need the  Type Tool (for more detail on changing fonts, color, and size read last year’s Day 3 tutorial).

 

Defined Type area Text “wraps around” as I type

I Click and hold the left mouse key and drag the cursor to create a box just inside the borders of the first rectangle—this will define my text area.  The text will “wrap around” when I reach the edge, just like I was using a word processor.  Be aware that this is NOT a word processor and won’t alert you to any misspelled words, etc.

 

 

If you’re going to print on colored cardstock, you don’t need the tan background.  I used the paint bucket tool (refer to Day 1) to change everything back to white—just make sure you’re on the shape layer not the text layer.  Then to see the outline of the card I switch to the Move Tool and right-click on each shape and chose Edit Layer Style from the pop up menu.

 

 

 

 

 

In the new window, put a checkmark in the box that says “stroke.”  You can change the thickness and color of the lines to suit your tastes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you now feel comfortable with making template shapes, inserting pictures and text boxes because we’ll be doing all three tomorrow when we publish our own newspaper!  In the meantime, check out some of my Crew mates 5 Days of … posts or click on the graphic to see all the participating blogs.

Beth @ Acorn Hill Academy ~ Nature Study
Aurie @
Our Good Life ~ Photography Tips and Tricks
Dinah @
The Traveling Classroom ~ Tips for Learning a Second Language
Julie @
Nurturing Learning ~ Art Resources
Tara @
This Sweet Life ~ Preparing for a New School Year
Sara @
Embracing Destiny ~ Purposeful Living
Rebekah @
There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining ~ Culinary Adventures for Boys
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio ~ Fitting in the Extras

April Blog Hop

 

 

 

 

Review: Supercharged Science


Online homeschool science curriculum


Last Spring, when we had our first chance to review Supercharged Science  we had already finished our main science curriculum for the year so I let my son choose projects that suited his fancy. You can read about it by clicking here, and I do recommend it because it will give you more of the overall picture of the program.   This year we were given a second opportunity to use their e-Science Premium Membership.  We’ve been studying human anatomy this year so we focused in on Unit 19: Biology 2, but here is a list of all the units available at this time. Note: A new subscriber has access to the first 7 Units and gains access to 2 additional Units each month they continue their membership. Since this is an online program, there are a few technical requirements to check.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Supercharged Science Units

  1. Mechanics
  2. Motion
  3. Matter
  4. Energy 1 (Levers & Pulleys)
  5. Energy 2 (Potential & Kinetic)
  6. Sound
  7. Astrophysics
  8. Chemistry 1 (Molecules, Atoms & Chemical Kinetics)
  9. Light
  10. Electricity
  11. Magnetism
  12. Alternative Energy
  13. Thermodynamics
  14. Electronics
  15. Chemistry 2 (Reactions, Bonds, Acids & Bases)
  16. Life Science 1 (Living Organisms, Cells, Genetics, Microscopes)
  17. Life Science 2 (Prokaryotes, Plants, Protists & Fungi)
  18. Biology 1 ( Invertebrates, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds & Mammals)
  19. Biology 2 (Skin, Bones, Muscles, Cardiovascular)
  20. Earth Science
Bonus Levels:
  • Award-Winning Science Fair Projects
  • Mathmagic
  • Teacher Resources
  • Science e-Camp (in the summer)


The unit begins with Aurora Lipper’s video introduction.  She explains what will be covered and previews some of the experiments.  On the right you’ll see links to download the PDF file for the Unit, links to the specific lessons within the unit, and a Shopping list of materials for the online lessons (the videos).


Online homeschool science curriculum


Most of the items you’ll probably already have in your home (or can pick up easily at Walmart), the few more difficult items usually have a link to an online source. The next image shows the lesson we were working (Respiratory and Excretory systems) and you can see the video lessons (I would use the term activities).


Online homeschool science curriculum


The download for the Unit has 137 pages that include another materials list (this time for the activities within the document, not online),  13 pages of vocabulary terms, and then Objectives, Textbook Reading, Activities & Experiments, and Exercises for each of the six lessons in the unit.   The exercises are really a bunch of questions that could be used for a quiz or test at the end of the unit.


If you want to do the online experiments, there are separate PDF downloads with detailed instructions.

 

How we used the product:

We read from our normal science curriculum but did the projects and exercises in Supercharged Science instead of our textbook—we even went back to do some activities on topics we studied a while ago because the videos just looked fun.  The website actually includes a Conversion Chart that matches up the Units with chapters or modules in many of the common homeschool science textbooks.  If you are using Supercharged Science as your only resource there is now a webpage organized by grade level and covers Pre-K through high school,  but be aware if you choose this approach there are some units and projects that aren’t listed in this approach.
On this particular day we were studying the Respiratory and Excretory systems—not two systems I’d necessarily combine on my own…
Lung capacity



In this project we were testing lung capacity.  All we needed was some plastic tubing (try a pet store), some water, a bowl, and a soda bottle.  Turns out, both Schnickelfritz and I have a lot of air to blow out!  We hade to run to the dollar store where they sell 3-liter bottles of soda to try again.  Nothing was wasted though—the 2-liter was the “chest” for our working lung model below.





 

 

Working lung model

 

What We Liked:

  • No need to buy any special “science” materials – there were plenty of activities to choose from that only used common household items. (This may not be true for all units.)
  • Each online Lesson/activity has it’s own comment section.  If you leave a question there, you’ll get a response shortly.
  • The videos really help in setting up the projects, watching her build a certain item was much clearer than just reading a sheet of instructions.
  • Supercharged Science avoids the topic of evolution entirely so I don’t have to worry about “millions of years” or “goo to you by way of the zoo” teachings.

 

What We’d Like to Change:

  • I don’t know if it’s our satellite internet, but sometimes the videos were blurry, or the action would freeze although the audio continued.  Some mornings we couldn’t get the videos to start at all. (again refer to the system requirements to make sure it will work for you)

  • It is a little pricey.  The subscription is $37/month ($57/month for high school material).  That would be $333 for a 9-month school year.  That might not be so bad if I had several kids that could benefit from the course, but I school an only child.  Still, if you have a child with a real bent towards science, this is cheaper than a course at a community college.

If given the opportunity to review the program again we’ll jump at the chance because we really have loved all the experiments and Ms. Lipper explains things so well.  It is definitely worth visiting the Supercharged Science website and signing up for the money-back guarantee 30 day trial—especially when it’s being offered for only one dollar!  Find out more at the TOS Special Offer.  Once your registered, you’ll also receive emails from Ms. Lipper with invites to free online seminars and other bonus materials.  Or you can receive a free set of sample materials by just submitting your email address.


 

Click to read Crew Reviews

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...