This past weekend, we had an “official” graduation to middle school moment when Jaci moved up at church. Considering we homeschool, the transition “in the classroom” is not quite as apparent for us. But, making that move over to youth was a big step for her. For Jaden as well because that now means they are both in middle school!
Big Fat Notebook
Fortunately, through a partnership with Workman Publishing, we are prepared at home to begin our studies with the Big Fat Notebook. Basically, these five books are the only books you need for each main subject taught in middle school: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Imagine you were given the notes of the best note-taker in class. THAT is what the Big Fat Notebooks give you.
The 5 Big Fat Notebooks include:
Everything You Need to Ace Math — covers everything to get you over any math hump: fractions, decimals, and how to multiply and divide them; ratios, proportions, and percentages; geometry; statistics and probability; expressions and equations; and the coordinate plane and functions.
Everything You Need to Ace Science — takes readers from scientific investigation and the engineering design process to the Periodic Table; forces and motion; forms of energy; outer space and the solar system; to earth sciences, biology, body systems, ecology, and more.
Everything You Need to Ace American History — covers Native Americans to the war in Iraq. There are units on Colonial America; the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation; Jefferson and the expansion west; the Civil War and Reconstruction; and all of the notable events of the 20th century—World Wars, the Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and much more.
Everything You Need to Ace World History — kicks off with the Paleolithic Era and transports the reader to ancient civilizations—in Egypt, Greece, India, China, Africa, Rome; the middle ages across the world; the Renaissance; the age of exploration and colonialization, revolution and imperialism, and the modern world and the wars and movements that shaped it.
Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts — covers everything to get you your best marks: grammar, including parts of speech, active and passive verbs, Greek and Latin roots and affixes; nuances in word meanings; textual analysis, authorship, structure, and other skills for reading fiction and nonfiction; and writing arguments, informative texts, and narratives.
For my girls, they definitely appreciate a shortcut. At least, that’s the way they look at it. For me, we have found the books to be a great supplement to our travels. We believe there is much to be learned by doing and, with history most of all, in seeing. Upon visiting various historical locations, the girls have questions and want to learn more. We can easily open the Everything You Need to Ace American History Big Fat Notebook and find great information on the subject.
Jaci’s least favorite subject is math. She needs simple instructions and plenty of visuals. This is where the Big Fat Notebook series has proven most helpful for her. Jaci and I looked over the topics covered and glanced at her syllabus for the upcoming school year. She was able to identify several areas where the book will be most helpful in walking her through the steps. It’s actually a terrific load off both of us knowing we have such amazing notes from “the smartest kid in class” to help her through math this year.
And although the Big Fat Notebooks are really for the girls, I have found myself reading through them in my spare time. I love to learn and think we should never stop. Not to mention, reading through the information of each of the books better prepares me for teaching them this school year. It’s been a terrific review of the basics on each subject for me (and Colby) so that we can have answers to the girls’ questions. It’s going to be a fun year!
Workman Publishing wants to give one of you all the supplemental help you need this school year as well. One lucky reader will win a Big Fat Notebook prize package that includes:
- Copies of all 5 titles in the Big Fat Notebooks series
- Branded school supplies including highlighter/pen combos, a notepad, and jigsaw sticky notes
The giveaway is open to US addresses only and prizing is provided by Workman Publishing. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm CST on August 31st. Good luck!
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