Classics ~ Also known
as The Great American Bathroom Books;
these are the same exact books, just two different titles for
different audiences. ("Compact Classics" does sound a lot, well,
classier, than "The Great American Bathroom Books," right?!?!
) There are three volumes so far. Each of these three thick books
is packed with 2-page synopses or summaries of many
great classic and contemporary literature. I used these for "Literature"
and had our kids do a "Book Synopsis"
on each one (he ended up doing over 70!), which is a one-page form
I designed specifically to go with these books that gave
him a format for doing a concise report on each one. (See
my ACS ("Assignment Check-off
Sheet," a.k.a. "Class Plan")
for "English II: Literature and Speech" on page VI-D-31
of Form+U+la. The
"Book Synopsis" is on page IV-31.) Our son did over 70 book
synopses and actually enjoyed doing them! I absolutely
love them! One homeschool mom said:
have used these books for the past three years (since I read Form+U+la)
and we love them! My boys aren't readers but they will
read these. I figure they are at least exposed to some ~ or many
(depending on how many they do) ~ great works
even if they haven't read them completely.
We also use them as a brief
intro before we watch the story on video. For example, when we watched
Hamlet, we read the synopsis on it. This was a tremendous help in
following the story when it was difficult to get into the flow of
Another mom said:
"We also use them a lot as a preview to see if there is enough
interest before delving into the book itself. This is not a problem
with those who enjoy reading (like me) but I have to be choosy for
my boys who believe reading is the next thing to taking castor oil!
One mom expressed to me her concern that if a
two-page synopsis of
a book is read, it might only "inoculate" the reader,
and lead them to think that they really don't need to read the whole
thing, now that they have read the synopsis. We didn't find this
to be true at all! There are so many "classics,"
there is simply no way any one person has time to read them all! ~
even in their lifetime, let alone in the short high school
Compact Classics, then, allow the student (or ANYone!) to get a basic idea of what many of these books are about.
This gives them a good overview, and also acts as a "filter"
that enables them to better determine which ones they do and don't
want to read. For instance, after our daughter had read the synopses
on "The Diary of a Young Girl" and "Malcolm X",
the next thing I knew she had brought these books home from the
library. Another synopsis revealed that that was one book, classic
or not, that I did not want our kids reading! At least not
at this age! (I'm not going to say what it was as it may be one
of your favorites!) Here are descriptions of each of the volumes:
I: Has 130 easy-to-read,
yet comprehensive book summaries including: Business and Leadership;
Personal Effectiveness; Pioneers in Science, Leaders in Crisis,
Artists and Philosophers, Inventors and Innovators, Leaders of the
Spirit. The literary classics include 5 synopses in each of the
following categories: Reflective Realism, Heroic Epic and Allegory,
Historical Fiction, Symbolic Characterization and Thought, Adventure
and Intrigue, Science Fiction, Social/Political Commentary, Shakespearean
Tragedies, Shakespearean Comedies, Human Drama, Philosophy, and
Examining Relationships. Then there are 20 "Modern Literature"
synopses, and several under "Health and Fitness," "Word
Power," basics of how 5 major sports are played (including
basketball which our son was playing and which greatly helped me
understand the game and was a help to him in writing his "Basketball
II: The "Drama
Through the Ages" section of this book contains: The Greek
Legacy, more Shakespeare, Classic Opera, Classic Drama, Twentieth-century
Stage. The "Literary Masterpieces" section contains: Short
Story Collections (including O. Henry), Children's Literature (including
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Charlotte's
Web), Adolescent Classics / Coming of Age, On the American Frontier,
Danger and Romance, Moral and Social Explorations (Hunchback of
Notre Dame, Oliver Twist, The Red Badge of Courage...), Wit and
Wisdom (Life With Father, Life With Mother, Short Stories of Mark
Twain) and several others. Also has large sections on Poetry, Religions
of the World (which we used for social studies), and a bunch more!
even deeper into the world's great literature, facts and phrases,
while offering distinctive libraries devoted to "People, Places
and Times (histories) and current social "Issues and Insights."
Rounding out the 180 book overviews are additional biographies,
self-help books, and historically significant speeches. ... You
will get miles and miles and miles of use out of any or
all three of these books!!!
synopses can be used for
many other subjects as well!)
of the Great Communicators Revealed
Powerful Strategies for reaching the heart of your audience"
- by Dr. Jeff Myers. Speaking: The secret fear that prevents 95%
of American from achieving their goals and influencing others. Anything
produced by Jeff is not only good, it is excellent. He and is wife,
Danielle, wrote Of Knights and Fair Maidens and he currently
speaks all over the country particularly on topics concerning leadership
and communication. This resource is his latest, and comes with two
videos and a book, which look great!!! Jeff is so fun to
listen to and watch! He's funny, yet also very deep, encouraging,
and knowledgeable. Kids listen to him. (So do adults!) I
quote Jeff: "The dynamic secrets of great communicators have
equipped me to think quickly on my feet...win elective office...meet
and persuade powerful people...take charge in meetings...and hold
my own at business and social gatherings. I live a much more meaningful
and satisfying life. I'm a better father and husband (my wife agrees).
I don't shrink from challenges. But that transformation from terrified
teen to sought-after communicator took nearly a quarter of a century.
I want to help you achieve the goal of effective public speaking
in hours, not weeks, months or years." Includes 2 videos
(six video coaching lessons) and a power-packed 200-page coaching
manual. Here is a review I (Barb) wrote for Jeff about this
"Secrets of Great Communicators"
Review by Barb
video-seminar presentation of "Secrets of Great
Communicators," Dr. Jeff Myers not only speaks about speaking,
but speaks volumes more about speaking by *showing*
rather than just telling. He gives us everything we
need ~ in a very well organized and thorough manner ~ to take
us OUT of fear regarding speaking, PAST confusion about how to
create and present a speech, and INTO the place where this
actually becomes FUN ~ for even for the most "speechaphobic"
And this seminar is not just for those who
speak in front of audiences. Indeed, I enjoy speaking, and
have been doing so before homeschooling audiences for 20 years
now, and I still gleaned MUCH from this seminar!
But most who watch this video will be at an earlier place on
the road ~ simply wanting to be able to just walk to the
podium without fainting or wanting to crawl inside it, and to
open their mouth and have something (intelligent) come out! If
you identify, there IS hope for you! And Jeff gives it to you
here ~ in the form of practical tools you will be able to
grasp easily and implement immediately! And this is no dry
seminar! Jeff is a pleasure to listen to and learn from!
If you are a Christian, like it or not, God *is* going
to use you to touch the lives of others.
He has three main
ways of doing this: via the written word, via the spoken word,
and via acts of service ~ which are really just "words in
...For those sensing that God is going to use you
in the "spoken word" arena, this seminar will give you tools
and inspiration to hone your talent ~ rather than leaving it
buried in the deep dark crevices of your heart where fear
lurks, and keeps the "treasure" God has placed within you from
being unlocked and released to accomplish His purposes in His
...For those who will never speak before a formal
audience, Jeff's practical tips and insights will still
help you tremendously in just being able to put your thoughts
together in normal conversation and present yourself
graciously and favorably. This skill alone will take you far
in life and in achieving success!
No matter what you do in life, unless you become
a hermit and flee to a cave for the remainder of your days,
you will end up communicating. Whether that's in a
livingroom talking one-on-one, at your job discussing a
problem with a co-worker, or sharing your heart before a live
audience of a thousand people ~ Jeff will help you learn how
to do it more easily, fluidly, effectively, and, yes, even
of the World Changers :
to Achieve Lasting Influence as a Leader.
The twentieth century was a century of contradictions: rapid
technological advancement and terrifying weapons of destruction,
economic prosperity and severe depression, the spread of democracy
and the ugly face of totalitarianism. Meanwhile, many Christians
have retreated in fear, seeking a personal sense of peace and
happiness rather than opportunities to make a difference. After ten
years of study into the nature of leadership, the inescapable
conclusion is that God uses ordinary people with ordinary gifts to
make an extraordinary impact on the world. The world's greatest
leaders have not necessarily possessed amazing talent, boundless
energy or smooth social skills. Secrets of the World-Changers is a
six-part video series which will show you how to break through the
personal and societal barriers that prevent you from making a
difference in the world.
The secret of how leaders expand their influence by practicing
Practical steps you can take to discover a powerful strategic vision
for your own life
Awesome truths which will inspire confidence in your purpose in life
~Strategies for overcoming stress and achieving equilibrium in
Methods for organizing your life to enhance your personal influence
Remarkable truths which will help you become more than a conqueror
Review by Jack Rantz, Chaplain, Grace College of Winona Lake,
Indiana:" Our school is making an intentional investment in the lives
of our student leaders so that they can reach a level of maximum
effectiveness in influencing others for God. Because of its solid
scriptural basis and practical relevance, Secrets of the
World-Changers is the foundation of our training."
Six-Part Video Series Plus 75-Page Study Guide.
to Page by
Michelle Van Loon. Encouraging children to keep a journal
seems like such a good idea. It offers them a chance to express
themselves, sharpen observation skills, and respond to what God
is doing in their lives. But too often, the suggestion to "write
in your journal" or "do a journal entry" is met with
"But I don't know what to write." That's where From
Heart To Page comes in! This easy-to-use booklet has 120
journal or essay writing prompters! Some are observation oriented,
some offer the opportunity to capture dreams and ideas for the future
on paper, some are focused on service towards others, and still
others are focused on spiritual growth and development. A parent
can plug From Heart To Page in at any time and simply check
off each day's assignment in the book as it is completed. A complete
introduction offers guidance, and the simple format makes this accessible
for students across the age spectrum. This booklet makes an excellent
complement to any language arts approach and is just the resource
to provide the spark to turn writing from chore to joy. Appropriate
and adaptable for beginning all the way through advanced (high school)
writers. Most ideas are universal; the student will respond
according to their own skill level.
pages / Staple-bound) $7.00
All the Math You'll Ever Need by
Steven Slavin. Here's
what one homeschooling mom said about this book:
"I found a wonderful
book called All the Math You'll Ever Need by Stephen L.
Slavin. It was a success and gave her a good grounding. This year
she wanted to attempt Algebra and we are finding that now she is
actually able to comprehend it."
"Completely updated and redesigned to be upbeat, encouraging, and
non-intimidating ~ topics cover the basics needed in everyday life,
such as multiplication and division, discounts, and interest rates.
... A sharp mind, like a healthy body, is subject to the same
rule of nature: Use it or lose it. Need a calculator just to work
out a 15 percent service charge? Not exactly sure how to get the
calculator to give you the figure you need? Turn to this revised and
updated edition of All the Math You'll Ever Need, the
friendliest, funniest, and easiest workout program around. In no
time, you'll have total command of all the powerful mathematical
tools needed to make numbers work for you. In a dollars-and-cents,
bottom-line world, where numbers influence everything, none of us
can afford to let our math skills atrophy. This step-by-step
personal math trainer:
~ Refreshes practical math skills for
your personal and professional needs, with examples based on
~ Offers straightforward techniques for working with decimals and
~ Demonstrates simple ways to figure discounts, calculate mortgage
interest rates, and work out time, rate, and distance problems.
~ Contains no complex formulas and no unnecessary technical terms.
pages / Softbound) $16.95