Royal Fireworks Press Blog

A Look Back at 2019

Posted on: 12/20/2019

As we look back on the year as it comes to an end, we at Royal Fireworks Press are pleased by the many accomplishments we were able to achieve in 2019. We published a number of important books, both for children and adults, and we offered an array of online courses that were intellectually stimulating […]

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Royal Fireworks Press Receives Homeschool Award

Posted on: 12/06/2019

As we celebrate the forty-second anniversary of the founding of Royal Fireworks Press, we have received word that we have been chosen as one of the howtohomeschool.net 2020 Best Homeschool Curriculum and Resources Award winners. Fittingly, it was for us as an entire company and not simply for our language arts, or philosophy, or math, […]

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Four Royal Fireworks Students Earn National Award

Posted on: 11/01/2019

Royal Fireworks Press is thrilled to announce that four of the students in our Online Learning Community have won awards for their creative writing. The students entered a national Halloween Ghost Story contest sponsored by Saugus.net, and the winners were announced on Thursday. Both of the students who won at the elementary level are international […]

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Another Honor for the MCT Language Arts Curriculum

Posted on: 07/26/2019

The readers of Practical Homeschooling magazine have voted Michael Clay Thompson’s language arts curriculum the best for online instruction. The MCT curriculum is available in three forms online. First and foremost, it is taught in many online classes from many different sources. The luckiest children are those who are instructed by Michael Clay Thompson himself […]

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Mathematicians Are People, Too! by Robert Black

Posted on: 05/16/2019

Some of the world’s most eminent mathematicians led fascinating lives. One was the only legitimate child of a notorious poet, taught the rigors of math so she wouldn’t follow in her father’s footsteps. One was a career government official who only studied math as his hobby. And one became a celebrity by carrying a lamp […]

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The Day the Thoughts Got Stuck Is an Academics’ Choice Award Winner!

Posted on: 05/02/2019

We are proud to announce that The Day the Thoughts Got Stuck has received an Academics’ Choice Smart Book Award. The Day the Thoughts Got Stuck is the second book in Ingrid Klass’s series about thinking for young children. In it, readers meet Rosa, a young girl who is unhappy with her birthday gift. Three […]

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The Circle of Happiness Receives Mom’s Choice Award

Posted on: 04/05/2019

The Circle of Happiness by Ingrid Klass has been given a gold Mom’s Choice Award. The special emphasis on this award is for “items that help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually; are morally sound and promote good will; and are inspirational and uplifting.” Beautifully illustrated, the book introduces preteens and teens to the fundamentals […]

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Learning Options for the MCT Language Arts Curriculum

Posted on: 01/07/2019

The Royal Fireworks Press language arts curriculum by Michael Clay Thompson has two goals: to ensure that the individual student who completes it is proficient in the language arts at a level that will carry him or her through life, and to inspire a lifelong love of the English language and its literature. The education […]

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We Have a Winner!

Posted on: 11/07/2018

Better yet, we have WINNERS! In this semester’s creative writing courses, the students were given an optional assignment to enter a national creative writing contest. We are proud to announce that our students received five of the possible nine awards. First place in the high school division was awarded to Kimberly for her story The Ghost […]

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Why Take an MCT Language Arts Course from the Royal Fireworks Press Online Learning Community?

Posted on: 11/07/2018

Because there is no better way of learning language arts than from the master himself. Michael Clay Thompson has been teaching his language arts curriculum online for Royal Fireworks Press for the last few years. Students receive more than just the information in the textbooks; they receive Michael’s professional instruction and personalized feedback. Here is a recent comment […]

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The War in the Pacific: A Fictional Perspective by Robert Black

Posted on: 08/30/2017

My latest novel attempts to help us realize our place in history. The Eyes of the Enemy is both a war story and a family story, but with something extra as well. One thing I like about being an author is that I can bend the rules of reality in a story if it helps […]

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A Letter to Michael Clay Thompson from Grateful Parents

Posted on: 01/06/2017

Our thanks to the family for this letter and for permission to publish it with the names changed. Dear Michael, I wanted to take a moment to tell you how grateful Hazel’s father and I are to you for being such a wonderful teacher to our daughter last semester. Your Mud Trilogy, which she read […]

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Lewis Carroll, the Original Mathematical Novelist by Robert Black

Posted on: 08/22/2016

Author Robert Black reflects on his inspiration for math in fiction. Whenever I give a presentation on my Mathematical Nights books, there’s one name that I always mention: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, mathematical lecturer at Oxford University during much of the Victorian era. You may know him better by his pen name: Lewis Carroll. From the […]

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The Importance of Philosophy by Sharon Kaye

Posted on: 05/11/2016

Philosophy is the story of brave thinkers who can change the world. Here’s a question for you: What is your touchstone book? The book that changed your life. The book that made you realize who you are and what you stand for. You may not have fully realized it when you read it, but looking […]

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We Must Advocate for Real Reading by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 04/11/2016

If I ruled the world (I recently observed that this is increasingly unlikely), every school system in the United States would make a powerful literature program the centerpiece of its educational strategy. The opposite is what is happening; school systems are ditching real literature for dumbed-down textbooks, with exactly the effects on students’ minds that […]

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The Life-Changing Moments that Resulted in the MCT Curriculum by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 03/30/2016

In my history with Royal Fireworks Press, there have been two momentous events without which the MCT curriculum would never have been possible. One was, clearly, my first encounter with Dr. Tom Kemnitz, the very embodiment of fanaticism about curriculum and the lives of children that I myself felt. The MCT language arts curriculum reveals […]

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Why Math Fiction? by Robert Black

Posted on: 01/13/2016

Sharing the Mathematical Experience I grew up in a mathematical household. Not only did both of my parents teach high school and middle school math, but my mother was the school’s “math coach”—the faculty advisor for the national, state, and local math competitions that students entered. One competition in particular always posed some strange problems, […]

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The Relevance of Walden Today by Anne Faigen

Posted on: 10/16/2015

When I began to write Finding Her Way, I had a distinct purpose in mind, grounded in my classroom experience. A teacher of high school honors English, I had always enjoyed the lively discussions related to my students’ reading of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Everything about Thoreau’s life intrigued them. Working a few weeks a […]

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The Problem of Evaluation by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 08/17/2015

I’ve always had a certain mistrust of evaluation. Haven’t you, too? The warning signs are plentiful. Do you remember that wonderful paper you wrote that the professor misunderstood or criticized, not because it was bad but because it jangled his preferences? Do you remember the papers you tried to grade (think about that word: grade), […]

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Reading Is Not a Spectator Sport by Steve Loe

Posted on: 04/14/2015

In my novel The Glimpsing Book, one of the main characters, Henrietta, reflects: “The reader cannot just read words without truly thinking about them. It would be like eating without digesting. True reading is very active. A reader brings his or her own story to the author’s story. What a combination that makes! Millions of […]

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No Less than the Trees and the Stars by Stephanie Tolan

Posted on: 06/01/2014

We are grateful for Stephanie Tolan’s permission to post this powerful piece here. In the more than thirty years I have written and spoken about the needs of gifted children and adults, I have shared a lot of my personal life. But after the last piece I wrote (in The Deep End, December 2012), that […]

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Why Teach about Genocide? by Brian Crawford

Posted on: 02/07/2014

As a teacher, I always need to know why I am teaching a lesson before I teach it. It is not enough to engage students in work that is merely interesting; there must be some lasting understanding at stake. Having taught about and written a novel on genocide (The Weaver’s Scar), I have often wrestled […]

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Common Core and American Nonfiction: Some Thoughts by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 12/02/2013

The Common Core standards have been adopted in the majority of states, to our relief or disappointment, depending upon our understanding of the standards. My impression is that some of the negative reactions to Common Core have not so much to do with the standards themselves as with how they are interpreted or implemented. Let […]

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Advocacy for Gifted Education Should Be a National Priority by James J. Gallagher

Posted on: 10/30/2013

As we seek support for educating gifted students, we must accept the fact that our advocacy efforts have been largely unproductive. At the federal level, the Javits legislation has been a bone tossed to quiet us, and state efforts have not been much better. We need a persistent and convincing effort to change our environment. […]

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The Venn Diagram: Is It Analysis? by Shelagh Gallagher

Posted on: 09/16/2013

Bloom’s taxonomy (and its re-articulation by Anderson, et al.) contains a wealth of detailed information about different levels of thinking. Unfortunately, the taxonomy is rarely presented in enough depth to appreciate its nuances. The purpose of this post is to take a closer look at the category of analysis. A picture of two balloons, one […]

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Assessing the Cult of Assessment by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 05/01/2013

Those new to the MCT language arts curriculum might be puzzled by the absence of sets of stock worksheets and assessments, which other curricula commonly include as the things for students to do. Many programs feature activities that center around pencils, in which students sit silently to fill in blanks, connect matchings, write short answers […]

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Education: It’s Not on the Test by Dr. Thomas Kemnitz

Posted on: 02/25/2013

This is such a great time to produce educational materials. With digital photography and printing, iBooks and ebooks, it is possible to do so many more exciting things now than it ever was in the past. I was struck by the enhanced possibilities that technological change has fostered when I came to write the Greek […]

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Michael Clay Thompson Wins Gifted Education Award

Posted on: 12/13/2010

Michael Clay Thompson has won the prestigious Richard W. Riley Award for “superior services to the gifted community.” Given by the South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education at its annual conference, President Marva Tigner presented the award to Michael for his unique contribution to teaching gifted children, both nationally and locally. His grammar, vocabulary, writing, […]

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