The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Christian Liberty Press Review by Teri Lucas

Christian Liberty Press

The Story of the Wright Brothers and their Sister
By Lois Mills

Christian Liberty Press is a company that has already proved itself in the homeschooling community. Michael McHugh, "the guy at the top," has a real vision for this company, which just keeps growing more popular among homeschool families. Mr. McHugh has written a number of books, some of which you will see reviewed here, in this section of the website and in the magazine itself.

This book, The Story of the Wright Brothers and their Sister, written by Lois Mills, is just another Christian Liberty Press treasure.

We took to it immediately because we are actually related to the Wright Brothers. My maiden name is Wright, and my grandmother used to tell of our distant cousins, Wilbur and Orville (and Katharine! although she never mentioned her) Wright. This book is wonderful - it reads just like a Little House on the Prairie book. Very much reminds me of one. The author tells the story of the Wrights' incredible story of painful trials and errors, but through the eyes of their devoted sister, Katharine. We watched her own heart be trampled by the cruelty of scoffers. My sons and husband listened on as we read this book aloud in family time. Every few paragraphs or so, my husband would break in for excellent commentary and lessons. This is a CHARACTER BUILDING BOOK. If you want your sons to learn how to love and cherish their sisters, READ THEM THIS BOOK. My three sons have one little sister (a little monster at times!), and we could see the light bulb go off in them as the chapters unfolded in the book. Cries of protest would erupt as we would come to a close in the evenings. "Tomorrow - tomorrow, we'll continue" (more cries!).

Not only is this a character builder, but also, of course, a history and science lesson. Talk about a great unit study supplement. Very cross-curricular learning!

We had a blast, and I would agree wholeheartedly with my 11-year-old son, Lukey, when he says about it, "The best part was how the older brothers treated their sister. I like it because they never gave up. They kept trying even though they failed many times. This book is excellent!?"

-- Product Review by: Gena Suarez, Publisher of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, and her brainy son Lukey!

The Life of Christ
By James Stalker
Revised and edited by Michael J. McHugh
Bible study put out by Christian Liberty Press

I absolutely LOVE this Bible study curriculum. It is high school level and very well written. It brings up such interesting subjects, like what languages Jesus probably spoke, if He had any brothers or sisters in His earthly family, and how the prophecies about Him came true. I think it is wonderful because everything is backed up with Scripture.

The Life of Christ is broken up into small sections throughout each chapter, which makes it easier for day-by-day studying. Almost every section has a Bible passage for extra reading and review. At the end of each chapter there is a test. There are many maps, too; this helps to gain a better grasp on where everything is taking place.

The chapter titles are: The Birth, Infancy, and Youth of Jesus; The Nation and Time; The Final Stages of His Preparation; The Year of Obscurity; The Year of Public Favor; The Year of Opposition; March to the Cross; and The Resurrection of Christ. There is also an appendix included in the back, which covers the Key to the Life of Christ, the Harmony of the Gospels, and order of events. It is very thorough.

This study comes complete with a test packet and answer key for both the tests and the book. I have very much enjoyed going through this study and highly recommend it.

-- Product review by: Coie Igarashi, age 13, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

And now from the Mama?

It has been a fascinating process watching my daughter go through this Bible study, The Life of Christ. It seems that a day does not pass where she comes to me wide-eyed, saying, "Mom, did you know?"

It has been a joy seeing my daughter become so involved with the depth of history, geography, accounts, and terminology that this Bible study has opened up for her. I particularly like the fact that the Life of Christ does not take a "fluffy" or emotional based approach. I appreciate that the authors did use teenage lingo to try and make the deep truths of our lives "hip" and "cool," and did not assume my teenager needed to be entertained with goofy cartoons or talked down to, but instead treated her like the mature, young adult that she is, and presented a study that uses the true incredible facts to draw her nearer to her Savior in a very real way. She appreciated it too, rose to the occasion, and has benefited a great deal. I give The Life of Christ a high rating, and encourage families to consider Christian Liberty Press while making their Bible curriculum decisions.

-- Additional Product Review by: Jenefer Igarashi, Senior Editor, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

The Story of Inventions

The Story of Inventions is written by Michael J. McHugh and Frank P. Bachman and is published by Christian Liberty Press. The book we used is the 1992 version with 354 pages. It is in a story form rather than a list of dry facts. The book gives interesting details about the lives of major inventors. Did you know Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland? When he and his brother, Melville, were boys, they made a model speaking machine. When they blew into it, the noise coming out sounded like a baby crying "ma-ma." The sound was so realistic that people in the town went looking for a baby!

This book starts with James Watt and the steam engine and ends with the invention of the computer. The writers of the book show the readers how inventions often come about by building upon other inventions and discoveries. The comprehension questions at the end of each chapter often led to some interesting discussions. A set of tests can also be purchased from Christian Liberty Press that are challenging, because the student must study the chapter for details. I recommend The Story of Inventions, because this book tells how each inventor used his gifts to benefit man.

-- Product Review by: Erin McRee, age 13, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation
By Douglas Bond
Christian Liberty Press

My children devour books and we often have difficulty keeping the shelves stocked with new material. Fortunately, Douglas Bond has written two charming books, published by Christian Liberty Press. Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation is volume two of this series, featuring an engaging Englishman who is an organ and hymn aficionado. Mr. Pipes befriends two American children and they travel throughout Europe. As they travel, they learn the history of the Protestant Reformation, the hymns of that era and their authors. Each chapter features a different hymn writer, including Martin Luther, Philipp Nicolai, Paul Gerhardt, Johann Schutz, and John Calvin, and includes details of the places where they lived and how they made their mark on history.

Mr. Pipes and his friends have many adventures as they travel and this makes the book all the more fun and interesting. To order the Mr. Pipes books, or to see all that Christian Liberty Press offers, you can contact them at Travel, friendship, history, worship, and mystery add up to an adventure that your children shouldn't miss!

-- Product Review by: Diane Wheeler, Senior Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

CD: Our Attitude Toward Christian Home Education
Presented by Michael J. McHugh
Christian Liberty Press

In one of many supplemental resources for home schooling parents available from Christian Liberty, Michael McHugh helps us to sort out our motivations for home schooling. Encouraging us to move beyond the decision as a head attitude toward that of a heart attitude, he reminds us that the decision to homeschool has to be more than a reaction, but really a spiritual commitment. Many homeschoolers know what they are against, but do they know what they stand FOR? This CD presentation encourages us to examine why we do what we are doing. As Christian homeschoolers, the firm foundation is one in which the decision is based in prayer and in step with God's Word. This lecture is a nice encouragement to new homeschoolers to get off on the right foot as well as for seasoned ones to remember their focus and purpose.

Christian Homeschooling: Foundation and Practice

Christian Liberty offers parents this valuable primer on homeschooling. Consisting of a compilation of articles, topics include what Christian education is, how a child should be trained, parental rights and responsibilities, discipline, accountability and structure, teaching several children, teaching art and music, and more. Presented in an encouraging well-reasoned style, this little volume has some nuggets of encouragement and advice for all homeschoolers.

How to Study: A Practical Guide from a Christian Perspective
By Edward J. Shewan

As my children are getting older, I am increasingly concerned whether they are equipped with skills for high school and college. A great deal of our focus in the middle school years is on learning study skills, and research and writing skills. This little book is written to the student and covers all aspects of the study process. He spends a great deal of time in the beginning of the book talking about time management. Most of us need help in this area! He shows the student how to chart and manage their time effectively. The rest of the book is dedicated to improving skills, including reading, writing, composition, and research. This is the kind of book you could read together with your child, or give to a middle school student to study independently. It's a valuable investment is your child's higher education.

Writing a Research Paper
By Edward J. Shewan

This volume is a great companion to the study book above. It takes the student, step-by-step through the process of writing a research paper. As a writer myself, it is one of my passions to ensure that my children know how to write! This little guide is a tremendous resource. The child is guided through the process of selecting a topic, doing research, preparing an outline, and writing the draft and final paper. A sample research paper is included in the text for comparison and study. These two books are a powerful package for your young scholar. Don't let them go into their higher education without study and research skills in their toolkit.

-- Product Review by: Christine Field, Senior Correspondent, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Writing With Prayer:

Good, basic, economical instruction with a Christian emphasis is how I would describe Writing With Prayer from Christian Liberty Press. The second grade edition that I reviewed was easy to use and provided just enough instruction for my child without over tiring him.

Writing With Prayer opens with a preface to the parents concerning "writing readiness," which is a good measuring tool for where your child may be in relationship to the exercises in the workbook. This would be particularly helpful if the child is becoming frustrated with his or her writing efforts. Following this is an introduction to cursive writing readiness, left or right-handed preparation to write, and a review of manuscript letter formation. In this portion of the manual, there is a mini-review of some grammar applications such as sentence writing and punctuation, capitalization rules, spacing, comma usage, and putting together a paragraph. The rest of the book is dedicating to teaching cursive writing.

Beginning with basic strokes and continuing with letter formation through the alphabet, Writing With Prayer repeats the lessons of letter formation with practice words and sentences. Each section increases in difficulty until the lessons culminate with once again a basic review of grammar, sentence structure, and finally, the writing of the Ten Commandments in cursive. Concluding the workbook there are even more suggestions for the parent in teaching handwriting!

A very practical little workbook, modestly priced at $5.50, Writing With Prayer is a good buy. Christian Liberty Press has a longstanding reputation for quality Christian education, which is affordable for everyone. Curriculum packages start at $105 for Kindergarten through $110 for grade 12. College bound students will need to supplement some material in high school. They also offer the option of record keeping for your student at a modest fee and all materials may be purchased separately enabling you to tailor your child's education to his or her specific needs and your budget.

-- Product Review by: Teri Lucas, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine