In last year’s “Great Stuff,” we mentioned the Standard Deviants videotapes from Cerebellum Corporation.  Well, we have even more to say on these great products this year, since we are now distributing them ourselves!  (Visit our Web site at www.davidandlaurie.com) 

For those of you who don’t know, these products are produced by a secular company and were originally intended as review for a semester of college work.  These days, however, college (at least the first two years) in many cases is remedial high school, and the subject material is the same as what we use in our secondary studies.  So, we have used the Standard Deviants products with success in our family for ages 10 to adult.  Each tape is only 2-3 hours in length, yet covers a full semester of work (believe us!).  We use them as supplementary materials for other coursework, and in some cases as the course itself (which we supplement with other texts and materials). 

Our college students use them to learn course material, and, best of all to study for CLEP exams (see below).  For those of you who have high schoolers preparing to take the SATs, you definitely should check out Cerebellum’s SAT Preparatory Super Pack.  This two-video (verbal and math portions), 300+ page workbook, and 3-practice-test package is “guaranteed to raise your score.”  (That of course assumes that your student will take it more than once.)  But we really think it’s a good way to prepare your kids for one of the most important tests they will take in high school. 

The Standard Deviants videotapes  are very entertaining, easy to understand, and easy to watch.  You can watch them in one sitting or a few minutes here and there.  However you use them, they provide a great way to familiarize yourself with a subject in a new format.  Learning through several formats (audio, visual, hands-on, etc) increases retention.  We have also found they are great for our audio learners who aren’t so “book-inclined.” 

OK, so now for the new news - first of all, as of this year, each of these tapes has been “edited for all audiences” by Mary Pride so they are family friendly!  Secondly, most titles are now available on DVD.  For those of you who are DVD illiterate (which we were until a few months ago), this format has options not available on videos, such as interactive quizzes and tests.  So, for the same price you can get more stuff!  And one more thing, by going to www.cerebellum.com you can download free quizzes, puzzles, outlines, games, tests, and more for most of the videos!  Such a deal.  (But please purchase them from us at www.davidandlaurie.com!)

Looking over last year’s list we were shocked that we omitted one of our all-time favorite home school tools -CLEP tests!  You can find out all the details about CLEP testing as it relates to home schooling in our book, The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School, and you can find technical details (where to take the tests, how to prepare, how much they cost) on the subject at www.collegeboard.org/clep.