Language Learning with Duolingo

As my girls and I have explored the Eastern Hemisphere with Sonlight Curriculum this year, we have become increasingly fascinated with Asian cultures. My twin daughters had already used Mango Languages, Duolingo, and other online resources to learn a bit of Japanese. Their fascination with Japan is part of what drew us to the Sonlight program this year.

As we explored various Eastern cultures throughout the school year, the girls’ attention gravitated to Singapore. Realizing that one of the official languages there was Chinese, they wanted to learn it. We already had the Chinese edition of the Rosetta Stone software, which I promptly installed on my computer. Along the way, though, I decided to try out Duolingo, a powerful free app designed to help anyone learn whatever language they want to.

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Review of CrossWired Science

When I looked at the crew review calendar a couple of months ago and discovered CrossWired Science, I started to get excited. Though the site had not been released yet at that time, I loved the philosophy behind it. I could hardly wait to see what their program would be like.

CrossWired Science will be a complete creation-based online science curriculum that integrates a number of science disciplines in each of their Global Topics. Sound, and Fluid Dynamics are the first units to be released.

I am so glad our family was chosen to review CrossWired Science. As the twins have explored science using their materials, their enthusiasm and interest in God’s creation have grown.

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License to Learn

When my middle daughter turned fifteen last month, one item topped her wish list—her Learner’s Permit. To her, it was a symbol of growing up, a testament to her blossoming independence, and an official ID.

Months earlier, her older sister had given her the Georgia Drivers Manual. “Miss Independent” had dutifully read through the entire booklet and challenged herself with various online practice tests.

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A Practical Approach to Grammar

At the end of December, I picked up Level 2 of Fix It! Grammar from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). I suspected that my twins would enjoy this practical approach to grammar and mechanics.

Two months later, though, the Teacher’s Manual was still sitting unopened atop my curriculum stack. It was not unnoticed though. My daughters saw it there and kept inquiring about the Robin Hood book. “When can we use it, Mom?”

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If I Read

I should have known better. When I saw a discounted Kindle book by one of my favorite authors, I should have checked to see if it was the first in a series. Then I could have avoided being drawn in and then left hanging on the last page of If I Run.

Why, oh why, did I read the first few teaser chapters of If I’m Found? I knew I had no time to delve into a second book. After all, what if ended with a cliffhanger too? I naively assumed Terri Blackstock would wrap things up before then.

As I neared the end of the second book, everything seemed to be be coming together. Then it suddenly didn’t. There was one more book—If I Live.

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Review of Drive Thru History®

Visiting historical locations in Israel is an awesome experience. My husband and I took in quite a few amazing sites while spending seven short days in the Holy Land. But what if you and your kids could visit key locations in the order in which they’re mentioned in the Bible? That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?

Since such a trip is not financially feasible for most families, Dave Stotts of Drive Thru History® has put together a full video tour of the New Testament. Last year our family reviewed Drive Thru History® Adventures. Dave led us on a virtual tour of the many locations mentioned in the Gospels. This year we continued our journey through the New Testament with Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation”. For our review, we received three DVDs with a full-color study guide.

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Journey to Israel - The Dead Sea

We topped off our trip to Israel with a visit to the Dead Sea. On our journey so far, we had already encountered three significant bodies of water. We had waded in the Mediterranean Sea the evening we arrived. A couple of days later, we dipped our digits in the Sea of Galilee. While a number from our group were baptized, we stood in the Jordan River. Finally, it was time to experience the Dead Sea, where even the world’s worst swimmer could easily remain afloat.

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Taught Through Trials

Do you remember the story of Joseph? He had big dreams but faced enormous obstacles. His brothers were so jealous of him that they planned to murder him. The oldest brother persuaded them to throw him in a pit instead.

Things went from bad to worse when the other ten sold him to Midianite slave traders. Before he knew it, he was on his way to a foreign land. (See Genesis 37.)

In Egypt, he excelled as a slave. He kept trusting God, even through hard times. God blessed him and his master’s entire household…until Joseph was wrongly accused of rape and arrested. He ended up in another pit—this time, prison.

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Review of Victus Study Skills System

Last month, my three daughters learned to study more effectively using the Victus Study Skills System. Because we were reviewing the curriculum for the Review Crew, we received all four workbooks, which are designed for different levels of learning.

One of my thirteen-year-olds worked through the Student Workbook Level 2, which is designed for students in grades two through six. Her twin sister followed along in the Level 3 Student Workbook, which targets students in grades five through eleven. My fourteen-year-old daughter completed the College Student Workbook, recommended for tenth grade and up.

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