Thursday, November 5, 2009

Review: Bright Ideas Press

Bright Ideas Press is a company I've actually heard of before being given the opportunity to do a review of their products for The TOS Homeschool Crew. I was thrilled to learn we'd be able to submit the choices of books we'd like to review instead of simply being handed one.

In the past we have used Mystery of History Year 2 (an okay fit but one we'll be coming back to when my boys are older) and Christian Kids Explore Chemistry (didn't fit us well but still a good book).

Not knowing if I would get my first or second choice, I submitted a request for either A Young Scholar's Guide to the Composers or Over Our Heads in Wonder. Happily I was given both choices to check out!


A Young Scholar's Guide to the Composers ($34.95 for the printed book or $29.95 for a CD-ROM book) is a comprehensive look at not only composers (26) but also eras of music (6) explained for grades 4-8. This book was my first choice as I have been wanting to focus more on music and composers this year.

Everything needed to teach is contained in this one volume. Each chapter contains student review pages right at the end of the chapter. We actually have been doing these as I read aloud to the boys. There is also a timeline, composer information cards to create, coloring pages, and listening selections listed in the back. The best part...there are 32 lesson plans all laid out for you. You can simply open the book and go. There is little to no teacher prep needed which is something I really like!

A sample of the book, including the table of contents, can by found by clicking HERE. I was so thrilled by this book that I brought it to a homeschool mom gathering the day after I got it. This is one book we'll continue to use for many years.


The second book I was given to check out is called Over Our Heads in Wonder: Science and the Sky ($9.95 printed book only). This is a small book - only 96 pages - but filled with great ideas and activities to introduce the science of the sky to grades K-5. Activities and lessons center around weather and the sky with lessons on things such as clouds, rainbows, sun, stars, snow, wind, storms and air.

It also integrates science with Bible, writing, math, and language arts. My boys have enjoyed this book. It was easy enough to pull out & do a little bit on clouds or rainbows or wind with little to no prep. Although, I did make a number of photocopies of pages I thought we'd like to use to keep on hand.

There is also sample pages for this book as well. You can get to them by clicking HERE.

This is another book we'll keep & continue to use.

*Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in order to review it.

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