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Looking for a Keyboarding class that isn’t a game? Even more importantly, are you wanting a Christian Keyboarding class? Well, you aren’t going to find many of either. The game programs are fine for some students as a complete curriculum, and fine for even more as a supplemental course, but many times the student concentrates too much on the game aspects. There have been many teachers who have used the game programs and discovered their student loved the program, but wasn’t really learning how to properly keyboard. Hence the search for a more traditional program begins. You can find them, but you won’t find any that are Christian-based. That was the dilemma for one Keyboarding teacher at a Christian school. Like many teachers before her, Leanne Beitel set about writing her own. The result was Keyboarding for the Christian School, a great blend of tradition and scripture.

Using many of the traditional methods of teaching typing, but with scripture as practice exercises, Leanne Beitel created a course that most teachers can be happy with using every day. There are two separate programs depending on the age student: Keyboarding for the Christian School, grades 6-12 and Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version. Both versions have simple, but thorough lessons covering the important topics of keyboarding such as the touch typing technique, alphabetic keys, numerals and symbols, number keypad, centering, and enumerated lists. The Elementary version then provides timed writing practicing. The older version continues with topics such as the tab key, the footnotes styles of MLA and APA, cover pages, works cited and bibliography pages, letters, envelopes, and proofreader’s marks before it begins also with timed writing practice exercises. Most of the scriptures used are good life affirming ones from the Psalms. Typing these scriptures for practice will write them on the minds and hearts of your students to be used by the Holy Spirit throughout their lives to guide them and help them to praise the Lord. The other writings used in the older versions will teach your students as they type Biblical truths and better discipleship. The programs are easy to follow regardless of age group. The elementary version is very similar to the older version, but written with a little simpler language and uses colorful charts to guide the student for finger placement and correct key finding. If you start your student in elementary grades with this program, you can use the older version to review the basic skills if needed or skip straight to the additional topics that an older and more advanced student needs. I personally love the way the author included coverage of the number keypad and introduction to the formatting and reference citing styles of MLA and APA. The keypad skills I learned in school are seldom taught now, but those skills have aided me in my personal life from quickly using calculators and adding machines for bills and taxes and even in the grocery store to some degree with ATM and cash register use. As a blind person, it has been as invaluable as the touch typing skills I have acquired. I was able to even apply this skill to some degree in reverse to use a telephone .With report writing, many students might learn a little about giving credit in later years of high school, but never hear the acronyms for the two most accepted formats in the literary and psychological fields. Their knowledge of how to give credit and type it correctly is weak. Then, in college, depending on their class, they are expected to know which format to use having heard of neither. These courses are very well-designed and will prove beneficial to many homeschool and private school settings.

As far as accessibility, the .pdf format is a drawback for blind and deafblind students, but the author left the security open. With additional software, you can convert this to a more usable format for screenreaders or braille displays. Of course, this is never a perfect conversion which makes .pdf formats less than desirable for accessibility purposes. Hearing blind would benefit from an audio version of the programs, but keyboard shortcuts are needed in the step implementation first. However, keyboard shortcuts would be beneficial for all students since it makes many steps quicker and simpler. Many of the keyboard shortcuts are standard for basic word processing steps so this wouldn’t be too difficult to provide. DeafBlind students would need a .txt or rtf version of the program once keyboard shortcuts are added. An audio version would also help students who are LD or auditory learners for use in conjunction with the text. With just a few simple modifications, the programs could have a much broader audience and be even more useful for the students to use.
Keyboarding for Christian Schools is an excellent program for homeschool and private Christian school use. The programs are also quite affordable for homeschool and Christian school use. The homeschool price for e-books of both versions is just $22.00. A Christian School can get an unlimited license version for $159.95. You can find more options and additional products at https://www.christiankeyboarding.com/Home_Page.php. The lifelong benefits of good keyboarding skills and scripture knowledge gained from this program can be so rewarding.

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If you are having difficulty providing the math teacher for your students, ALEKS which stands for Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces is an online tutor for math grades 3-12 and can fill that need. ALEKS, using artificial intelligence, can assess your student’s level and provide a prescription-based curriculum tailored for your child’s needs.
When you register, you provide some basic skill information for your students. Then set up a username and password for your student to use. The student completes the assessment and immediately and planned curriculum is developed based on the answers to the assessment. There are lessons, practice, worksheets, quizzes, and tests that are available for your student to learn the concepts they need. The basic lesson instructions are simple and easy to understand. The only problem I find is that if your student read the instructions, but still was unable to complete the exercises successfully, the program sends the student back to the same explanation page for review. That can be just fine for some students who just didn’t read carefully enough or simply needs to review a little. If your child really struggles in math or is learning disabled, a parent needs to be present to reword the instructions some or provide an explanation from a different perspective. For its credit, the program provides plenty of practice, review, and more practice. The student will have plenty of exercises available to guarantee mastery of the concepts.
The parent account provides clear records of the student’s progress. Parents can easily log in and see at any moment what the student is studying, what has been introduced, mastered, or needs more progress. Reports including graphs are also available to allow homeschool parents to keep documentation of the student’s work.
The program is subscription-based, but several payment plans are available. There is also a free two day trail to test the site’s suitability for your student. Prices are $19.95 per student, per month, or $99.95 for 6 months, or $179.95 for 12 months. Family discount plans are available for multiple students if subscription is 6 month or 12 month terms. If your family needs that math teacher, this can be an affordable option.
For more information, go to http://www.aleks.com.

Do you remember some of the stories you read as a young child? Do you remember the stories written ages ago when the world was a little purer in some ways? Salem Ridge Press founder, Daniel Mills, does despite his young age. He read many of those books while he was homeschooled growing up not so long ago. His parents saw the goodness in many of those books that are now out of print and very difficult to find. Now he works to republish many of those old books, so our children can learn from them and cherish them as well.
There was certain richness to those stories of old. They captured the essence of an age long gone. Values were taught in those stories that could make godly men and women of boys and girls. It is hard to find those kinds of things in many of the books written today. I received three of the books republished by Salem Ridge Press. One was an old favorite of mine back when I was about six or seven years old. It was called Mary Jane- Her Book which is such a simple title for a delightful book. I am nearly fifty years old, and while reading this book, the memories flashed in brilliant color. I could so easily recall many of the protagonist’s adventures because the story was so richly told as the child learned so many of life’s valuable lessons along the way. Many of the books I read today regardless of the good information or lessons they teach are forgotten within a few months. The rich detail is just not there.
I also remember the loving times of looking at those illustrations in the old books though they were just black and white line drawings and so few in any particular selection. It was very expensive to add illustrations back then and color printing was not yet available. Artists learned well to put clarity and emotion into those illustrations. One picture was full of life that I could use to dream about for hours.
Yes, I think the Salem Ridge Press founder is absolutely right. Many of those old books deserve to be republished during these times. His company has published more than eighteen books including the Emma Leslie Church History Series since its beginning in 2005 with many more to come. Mr. Mills uses Philippians 4:8 as the foundational philosophy behind his republishing company. He believes that what we read matters and is a major factor in the development of character. While choosing many titles which may or may not be explicitly Christian, his basis for choice of titles is “fitting the qualifications outlined in the Bible”.
In printing books written in the distant past, cultural values are not always presented as we wish. Man has made many mistakes throughout history and during such times man didn’t often see the err of his ways. Therefore, some books may present some issues such as slavery as a mere statement of fact or even in somewhat of a positive light. Parents can look at those titles individually and evaluate them as they choose. However, as Christ didn’t immediately condemn slavery during His time on earth and even told the slave to be content in his situation though we know that He did deplore the institution, I still feel the books deserve to be republished and should be used as ways to discuss the sins of man as a reality and as evidence of our need for the Savior.
Salem Ridge Press, www.salemridgepress.com, is doing a great mission in providing these books once again for the enjoyment of our future generations. Let us support this mission as this generation is in definite need of books that truly teach godliness.

Yes, rime is a word, and it is not misspelled. A beginning reading program has been developed using rimes: words that sound and look alike. Rhymes as we are most familiar with sound alike, but do not always look alike. Using rimes such as at, pat, bat, cat, and sat, young readers can quickly learn a pattern teaching them many sight words quickly and easily. The program developed by Sara Hines, a university professor specializing in Learning Disabilities, and Lynn Klaiman, a first grade teacher, consists of twenty booklets containing simple sentences using the rime patterns. The program is structured to be used by young readers and older reader needing remediation. Each booklet reviews previous rimes and adds new ones. The rimes are color-coded to encourage readers to use visual similarities and differences to decode, a strategy used by successful readers. Words that are listed in black are not part of a rime family, but are high-frequency sight words. They are not necessary for the story. By helping your child to learn these words, you help the child build his sight vocabulary. By progressing through the booklets, students learn thirty-five common sight words and single syllable short vowel words from twenty word families (rimes) giving them forty-six high frequency works in their vocabulary allowing them to begin reading other simple books quickly building self-confidence and delight in reading.

Once your child knows most of the consonant sounds and can identify most letters, they are ready for the Rime to Read program. The program developers recommend for success that a parent follow the booklets in sequence since the booklets are cumulative. Read with a child each booklet until they can read the booklet alone with 90-95% accuracy. The developers recommend letting the student set the pace, but do not read more than one booklet in a session. Introduce the books at least a day apart, but no more than a week apart to ensure consistency in learning.

The program is simple in design allowing most students to learn quickly and easily, but if your child should struggle try slowing the pace and printing pages from the book of the rimes to make flash cards. Reviewing these flash cards frequently will help your child learn to recognize the patterns and retain them easily.

Now the choice is yours. The booklets are available for purchase at the Rime to Read web site. You can print them out or use them on a computer anywhere you can log into the internet. The best thing to do would be to save them to your computer. You can then print them out as you are ready to use them. However, each booklet should be used on the web site at least once because the developers have begun adding sound files of the rimes. Your student can click on the color-coded rimes on the reading side of each double page spread. Your child will then hear that word spoken which will quickly allow the child to learn each word because they can use more modalities or learning methods to access the word. They will read it, hear it, and say it out loud. This feature, though not completely finished at this publishing, is a great addition to the program making more use of the virtual capability of the program.

One autistic student of mine was given access to this program to see if it would click. We had noticed a fascination with computers, but have had to be careful what he is introduced to on the computers to prevent a fixation. We thought the Rime to Read program was worth a try, though. The student has been almost nonverbal up to this point. From the beginning, he was very fascinated with the word sounds and would click on every one. We were beginning to think it was a mistake, since he didn’t want us to actually read the book. He just wanted to click on the sounds. After going through a couple of booklets this way, we managed to get him to go back to the first one. To our surprise, he began reading the sentences out loud and on his own. We have been quite pleased with the results so far. The student has now read over half the booklets including the black words without sound files. Now I can’t promise this much success with every student and certainly not with other autistic children, but the premise is sound and easily taught by a parent. Rime to Read is a good way to start a joy for reading.

For more information, go to www.rimetoread.com. I have only one complaint about the web site, itself. You can’t get to a list of prices for the booklet set or partial packages without signing in first. Hopefully, they will fix this aspect soon. You get the first booklet free. Packets of 4 booklets are $9.99 each and all booklets purchased together is $49.99 each. That isn’t too bad, especially with the sound files added to the computer site making it more interactive. Try the free book out just to see!

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