Homeschooling at the Highest LevelFor the Best in Your Classroom

MOURNING THE LOSS OF ONE OF OUR OWN

We at Royal Fireworks are mourning the passing of William R. “Billy” Schoonmaker, Jr. (far right in the photo), who was crucial to our book-making for the past 30 years. Billy died at home on Friday, May 22nd, just ten days short of his fiftieth birthday. At Royal Fireworks, he printed the books that were bound by his father and mother, who worked in the bindery here. Bill and Billy both came to work at Royal Fireworks in 1989; Billy’s mother joined them a few years later. They cared deeply about the quality of every book they produced. This photograph is of the three of them taking a break in the bindery about a year ago. Billy is survived by his parents, his wonderful wife, two children, seven step-children, a multitude of grandchildren, and other relatives. We will miss him; we take solace in remembering the good times with him rather than in bemoaning the loss, and we know that the love he showed his family will help to sustain them. They have our deepest sympathy.

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A NOTE ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

We at Royal Fireworks Press are aware of our duty to our larger community of parents and children, teachers and students to keep operating and to supply the high-quality printed texts and novels, online courses, supplemental materials, and educational opportunities that you rely on us to provide. We are also aware of our duty to our local community to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Although the world is slowly reopening, we will continue to operate using policies and practices that will ensure the greatest safety of our staff and customers. Employees whose jobs do not require them to be on site will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, and those who must be at the Royal Fireworks facility are maintaining recommended social distancing guidelines and practicing heightened cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

People across the nation and the world are recognizing that education, while not typically defined as an essential service, is at least of high priority. We are doing what we must to make sure that you can help your children move forward in their learning and stay intellectually active. Customers are encouraged to check out our current offerings for ways in which to keep children academically engaged during this time of school closures. We wish you all the best during this pandemic.

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At Royal Fireworks Press, our aim is to support parents who are dedicated to developing in their children a lifelong love of learning, a broad understanding of the world of the intellect, and core competencies in academic areas. Our materials are infused with high intellectual demands that are presented in an inviting, engaging format because children who are excited to learn are able to learn far more than traditional educators often expect them to. We know that the individual attention of homeschooling enables children to succeed with demanding materials, and we want your child to stretch intellectually, to strive to learn and to be enthusiastic while doing so. All of our materials are designed to enable your child to do just that.

We offer FREE SHIPPING on any domestic U.S. order that includes a Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum Homeschool Package (this offer does not apply to the Level 1 Basic Package). Enter MCTHSP in the voucher box in the shopping cart, pay by credit card or PayPal, and your entire order will ship free.

The Royal Fireworks Online Learning Community. The summer semester has begun, but it’s not too late to sign up for summer courses. We have more summer offerings than ever before. You’ll also find courses listed for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, and we’ll be putting up more as we get final confirmation of the dates and times from the instructors. Michael Clay Thompson is again offering all seven levels of his MCT language arts courses, but this time he’s added Level 8—an all-new offering for students at the most advanced levels of language instruction. There are courses in math, history, Spanish, creative writing, and much more, including subjects that kids can use now more than ever, such as mindfulness and meditation. These are high-level courses in a range of subjects taught by experts at the tops of their fields. They are opportunities that you simply don’t want your child to miss.

A Caution about Buying Used Copies of Royal Fireworks Press Books

At Royal Fireworks Press, we offer materials with the intellectual heft to challenge and intrigue the best students in your classroom, enabling you to educate students at the highest levels. Our texts are demanding, never dumbed down; they are wide-ranging, not narrowly focused; they are not worksheet-based or dull drill and practice but instead Socratic and creative. Our curricula are the difference between real education and teaching to the test. They offer teachers the opportunity to go beyond the ordinary to enrich children’s lives.

 A Caution about Buying Used Copies of Royal Fireworks Press Books

New at Royal Fireworks Press

NEW VIDEO INTRODUCING PARENTS TO THE MCT LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM: We get a lot of questions about Michael Clay Thompson’s language arts curriculum, so we’ve put together a helpful video to answer those questions and to give an overview of the different components of the curriculum and how they work. Click here to watch the video.

NEW EDITIONS of Some of the Books in the MCT Language Arts Curriculum! Michael Clay Thompson has added an audio feature to the vocabulary books Caesar’s English I and Caesar’s English II (Classical Education Editions only) and the grammar books The Magic Lens I, The Magic Lens II, and The Magic Lens III. Each of the books now contains several pages with QR codes. When scanned with a QR reader on a smartphone or tablet, the codes link to audio of Michael discussing important grammar concepts or reading poems or stories that he wrote using the vocabulary words in the book. There is also audio of Dr. Myriam Borges Thompson reading her Spanish translations of Michael’s poems and discussing the Iberian influence on the Roman world. The audio feature is a wonderful addition to these books, allowing children to hear from Michael himself!

NEW: American History Biographical Novels. The latest novels in the Adventures on the American Frontier series have arrived! Gold Rush Adventures and Pioneers on the Early Waterways chronicle the California Gold Rush and the evolution of water travel in early America, respectively, by telling about them through the perspectives of some of the people who took part in them. These books are a wonderful way for children to learn about events that fundamentally shaped the face of America—and to enjoy themselves while doing it.

NEW: A New Book about the Woman Who Introduced the World to the Idea of the First Computer. Ada Lovelace may not be a household name for many, but as a woman studying advanced mathematics in the early 1800s (and as the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron), Lovelace was extraordinary. She befriended a man who conceptualized what would have been the first computer, had it ever been built, although she is the one who explained it to the world in ways that allowed others to understand it. But she did more than that. She explored the possibilities of what a computer could do, and it was, in part, her digital legacy that led, about a hundred years later, to the first computer programmers and software engineers—all of whom were female.

NEW: Another New Set of Books in the Adventures on the American Frontier Dyslexia Series! We are excited to announce the newest set of books in our American history series: Gold Rush Adventures. The six stories that make up this set are not simply the standard Gold Rush fare. These books talk about the tremendous difficulty that it took to get from the eastern half of the country to California, as well as the various methods that miners used to find gold and the often-unexpected discoveries they made along the way, usually about themselves. These illustrated books include a variety of modifications for children with reading disorders, including a special font and audio of the books being read aloud so that children can follow along, drawn in by both the fun illustrations and the delightful narration of our own Christopher Tice. Check out the other sets of books that are currently available: Pirates and Privateers, Mail Riders, Cowboys and Cattle Drives, Pioneers on the Early Waterways, Men on Iron Horses, and Pioneer Show People. There are more sets planned that will delve into other areas of American history. There are also standard-font editions of these books, offered as biographical novels. These are series that parents will NOT want to miss!

TWO EXTRAORDINARY BOOKS REISSUED: We have just re-released two novels that are a part of our diverse collection of books designed to help people to find understanding and compassion for the circumstances of others—or that allow them to read about others like themselves, which is often rarer than it should be. We have reissued a freshly edited edition of Growing Up as a Greek-American, a wonderful collection of small stories about one immigrant family’s experience of bridging the cultural divide between their Greek heritage and their American home. The stories are warm and witty and portray the true immigrant experience from the perspective of someone who lived it authentically. We have also re-released a beautiful novel about a twelve-year-old boy who suffers permanent hearing loss. Goodbye, Tchaikovsky chronicles the journey of David as he learns, often painfully, how to navigate a world that does not understand his disability, ultimately finding his footing and learning that life can be richly rewarding in ways that he had not anticipated.

NEW Problem-Based Learning Unit: Our newest PBL unit is now available, and it couldn’t be more timely. The Great Debates puts students into the role of media consultants for then-Vice President Nixon as he struggled with his image among voters after the first-ever televised presidential debate during the 1960 election. Kennedy was quickly mastering use of the new medium, and Nixon needed to improve his strategy. Students study the candidates and various aspects of media messaging as they work through the problem, ultimately tying what they learn to the role of the media platforms available to candidates today. Along the way, they learn the true meaning of democracy’s dependence on informed participation.

NEW: The Essential Guidebook for Parents of Gifted Children is designed to offer a concise yet thorough introduction to giftedness for parents new to the subject; however, it will also be a valuable resource to those knowledgeable about the topic, in part because it presents some concepts and ideas in ways that have never been explored and explained before. Although the book is primarily for parents, it will be of great interest to teachers, administrators, counselors, and gifted experts because of the new ground it breaks. It is a worthy addition to the literature on giftedness that should not be missed by anyone who parents or works with gifted children.

NEW BOOK BY MICHAEL CLAY THOMPSON! We are thrilled to announce the publication of Michael Clay Thompson’s newest book! It is an introductory grammar book for young children that starts them off even before they are ready to begin Level 1, teaching them the eight parts of speech in a way that grammar has never been taught before. Poodle Knows What? is everything we love about Michael: warm, witty, and exuding a love of language. It is an illustrated story brimming with rhymes and sound repetitions, trotting along on a fun meter that pushes the characters along as they learn about words. And every spread of two pages contains a QR code of Michael reading the text so that children can hear just how the words sound. Children will LOVE this book, even if they have progressed beyond Level 1!

VISION THERAPY: Royal Fireworks Press is offering the LARS, the Lane Academic Readiness Screen, developed by Kenneth A. Lane, O.D. This instrument allows parents and caregivers to identify possible impediments to a child’s ability to read. Based on the results, users are directed to packages of vision therapy workbooks that will help the child overcome specific weaknesses and improve his or her reading speed and proficiency.

View the Royal Fireworks Press homeschool catalog.

New at Royal Fireworks Press

NEW VIDEO INTRODUCING EDUCATORS TO THE MCT LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM: We get a lot of questions about Michael Clay Thompson’s language arts curriculum, so we’ve put together a helpful video to answer those questions and to give an overview of the different components of the curriculum and how they work. Click here to watch the video.

NEW EDITIONS of Some of the Books in the MCT Language Arts Curriculum! Michael Clay Thompson has added an audio feature to the vocabulary books Caesar’s English I and Caesar’s English II (Classical Education Editions only) and the grammar books The Magic Lens I, The Magic Lens II, and The Magic Lens III. Each of the books now contains several pages with QR codes. When scanned with a QR reader on a smartphone or tablet, the codes link to audio of Michael discussing important grammar concepts or reading poems or stories that he wrote using the vocabulary words in the book. There is also audio of Dr. Myriam Borges Thompson reading her Spanish translations of Michael’s poems and discussing the Iberian influence on the Roman world. The audio feature is a wonderful addition to these books, allowing students to hear from Michael himself!

NEW: American History Biographical Novels. The latest novels in the Adventures on the American Frontier series have arrived! Gold Rush Adventures and Pioneers on the Early Waterways chronicle the California Gold Rush and the evolution of water travel in early America, respectively, by telling about them through the perspectives of some of the people who took part in them. These books are a wonderful way for children to learn about events that fundamentally shaped the face of America—and to enjoy themselves while doing it.

NEW: A New Book about the Woman Who Introduced the World to the Idea of the First Computer. Ada Lovelace may not be a household name for many, but as a woman studying advanced mathematics in the early 1800s (and as the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron), Lovelace was extraordinary. She befriended a man who conceptualized what would have been the first computer, had it ever been built, although she is the one who explained it to the world in ways that allowed others to understand it. But she did more than that. She explored the possibilities of what a computer could do, and it was, in part, her digital legacy that led, about a hundred years later, to the first computer programmers and software engineers—all of whom were female.

NEW: Another New Set of Books in the Adventures on the American Frontier Dyslexia Series! We are excited to announce the newest set of books in our American history series: Gold Rush Adventures. The six stories that make up this set are not simply the standard Gold Rush fare. These books talk about the tremendous difficulty that it took to get from the eastern half of the country to California, as well as the various methods that miners used to find gold and the often-unexpected discoveries they made along the way, usually about themselves. These illustrated books include a variety of modifications for children with reading disorders, including a special font and audio of the books being read aloud so that children can follow along, drawn in by both the fun illustrations and the delightful narration of our own Christopher Tice. Check out the other sets of books that are currently available: Pirates and Privateers, Mail Riders, Cowboys and Cattle Drives, Pioneers on the Early Waterways, Men on Iron Horses, and Pioneer Show People. There are more sets planned that will delve into other areas of American history. There are also standard-font editions of these books, offered as biographical novels. These are series that teachers will NOT want to miss!

TWO EXTRAORDINARY BOOKS REISSUED: We have just re-released two novels that are a part of our diverse collection of books designed to help people to find understanding and compassion for the circumstances of others—or that allow them to read about others like themselves, which is often rarer than it should be. We have reissued a freshly edited edition of Growing Up as a Greek-American, a wonderful collection of small stories about one immigrant family’s experience of bridging the cultural divide between their Greek heritage and their American home. The stories are warm and witty and portray the true immigrant experience from the perspective of someone who lived it authentically. We have also re-released a beautiful novel about a twelve-year-old boy who suffers permanent hearing loss. Goodbye, Tchaikovsky chronicles the journey of David as he learns, often painfully, how to navigate a world that does not understand his disability, ultimately finding his footing and learning that life can be richly rewarding in ways that he had not anticipated.

NEW Problem-Based Learning Unit: Our newest PBL unit is now available, and it couldn’t be more timely. The Great Debates puts students into the role of media consultants for then-Vice President Nixon as he struggled with his image among voters after the first-ever televised presidential debate during the 1960 election. Kennedy was quickly mastering use of the new medium, and Nixon needed to improve his strategy. Students study the candidates and various aspects of media messaging as they work through the problem, ultimately tying what they learn to the role of the media platforms available to candidates today. Along the way, they learn the true meaning of democracy’s dependence on informed participation.

NEW: The Essential Guidebook for Parents of Gifted Children is designed to offer a concise yet thorough introduction to giftedness for people new to the subject; however, it will also be a valuable resource to those knowledgeable about the topic, in part because it presents some concepts and ideas in ways that have never been explored and explained before. Although the book is primarily for parents, it will be of great interest to teachers, administrators, counselors, and gifted experts because of the new ground it breaks. It is a worthy addition to the literature on giftedness that should not be missed by anyone who parents or works with gifted children.

NEW BOOK BY MICHAEL CLAY THOMPSON! We are thrilled to announce the publication of Michael Clay Thompson’s newest book! It is an introductory grammar book for young children as young as first grade, teaching them the eight parts of speech in a way that grammar has never been taught before. Poodle Knows What? is everything we love about Michael: warm, witty, and exuding a love of language. It is an illustrated story brimming with rhymes and sound repetitions, trotting along on a fun meter that pushes the characters along as they learn about words. And every spread of two pages contains a QR code of Michael reading the text so that students can hear just how the words sound. Children will LOVE this book, even if they have progressed beyond Level 1!

VISION THERAPY: Royal Fireworks Press is offering the LARS, the Lane Academic Readiness Screen, developed by Kenneth A. Lane, O.D. This instrument allows teachers and caregivers to identify possible impediments to a child’s ability to read. Based on the results, users are directed to packages of vision therapy workbooks that will help the child overcome specific weaknesses and improve his or her reading speed and proficiency.

For evidence of the efficacy of bringing the MCT vocabulary curriculum into your school, check out this Research Page, which has a list of ten peer-reviewed academic studies that support it.


View the latest Royal Fireworks Press catalog for teachers and schools.

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