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Quick Study Academic Bar Charts Review by Donna Campos

BarCharts, Inc.
6000 Park of Commerce Blvd., Suite D
Boca Raton, FL 33487

Quick Study BarCharts are academic guides that offer information pertaining to a particular area of study or interest. For this review, I received two charts pertaining to the United States and three charts pertaining to the Spanish language. Each full-color chart is three-hole punched and laminated, making it suitable for placing in a school binder. The charts fold out to reveal the total number of pages. (Some of them were four pages; some were six.)

"America: The 50 States" contains a map of the nation, descriptions of the flag and the official seal, and details about each of the states and the District of Columbia (including the origin of the state name, the nickname, the capital, the year it entered the union, the motto, and the state flag).

"U.S. Presidents" includes detailed information on the first 43 presidents of the United States, through George Walker Bush. Facts included are birth and death dates, marriage and family information, years of service, vice president, and government offices held. A picture of each president is also included.

"Spanish Vocabulary" includes Spanish translations for numbers, measurements, clothes, colors, months, greetings, and much more--seemingly anything you would need to know for basic conversation. A pronunciation guide is provided as well.

"Spanish Verbs" gives information on how to use verb components as well as the different verb types and their tenses (regular, reflexive, imperative mood, irregular, etc.). This chart is packed with information--tips on word usage and many, many examples.

"Spanish Grammar" is only four pages in length, but it holds a great deal of information as well. It lists the alphabet, numerals, cardinal and ordinal numbers, and rules for everything from syllabification to comparatives and superlatives, the parts of speech, and changes in tense, all with examples and explanations.

These brightly colored charts hold a great deal of information for quick reference. The sturdy design will allow for years of use. The charts offer a condensed version of information typically found in larger reference sources such as encyclopedias.

They are intended for use as support materials for your history or Spanish curriculum. They would be fantastic tools to help a student review before testing. The handy design and ease of use are ideal for busy homeschool environments, and the subject matter is pertinent even through college-level courses. The Spanish sets would be especially handy as a summer review before beginning an additional year of foreign language study.

One downside is that some students might be tempted to use the charts as a crutch rather than as reference material. The creator of the charts goes so far as to include a warning that these are to be used as reference tools, not as a substitute for class work. For instance, the Spanish pronunciation guide is not a substitute for hearing Spanish words spoken orally.

BarCharts are an almost perfect reference tool-handy enough to be carried anywhere yet packed full of information. An innovative teacher will use these tools in creative recall games, memory work, and even as the basis for question-and-answer sheets to supplement regular coursework. BarCharts are the encyclopedia in your binder!

Product review by Donna Campos, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2007