Book Reports…we have never had a successful book report in our homeschool…Well, never until now! Analytical Grammar has this fun program called Beyond the Book Report. Aimed towards the middle school crowd (6th-8th graders), this was perfect for me to use with Moe Man!
What Is It?
Beyond the Book Report is a language arts program and is made to pair well with Analytical Grammar. We did not use this with Analytical Grammar, but just added it to what we were already doing. This worked for us. There are three seasons to Beyond the Book Report, each with their own DVD and teacher guide. The teacher guide provides a day to day schedule and samples for the different types of reports. The DVD not only has a “lecture” slide to go along with the reports, but it also includes the pages you need for your child/ren to use to go with the lesson. Each season sells for $24.95 and you make them last for as long or as short as you want. This is done by how long you want to take to read the different stories. Speaking of which…there are no book lists with this program. You find what you want your children to read or what they want to read and go with it.
Season One has three different types of reports, the Basic Report, the Pamphlet Report and the Journalism Report. Season Two goes into Poetry and Drama, while Season Three talks about Essays, Orals Reports and Research Papers. There are rubrics to go with each lesson and these are a wonderful addition for our house (and for me). Not only do we learn about the different types of book reports, but each one teaches different concepts as well.
How Did We Use This?
Moe Man has never been one who would sit down and write a book report. I have to pry information out of him just to know what he read in the last chapter. We started with the basic book report and I feel in love the minute I found out that I didn’t have to teach anything to Moe Man, I just had to sit back and watch with him. We took three days to go over the lectures and take our notes. After making sure he understood what he had to do, I let Moe Man get started on his book. I let him pick his book and we figured out how many pages per day he would have to read to be done by the due date. I printed a copy of the rubric that I would be using so that Moe Man could see what he needed to do to complete his assignment. After he finished reading, we took the time to work on writing the book report together (Moe Man doesn’t write), with him telling me what needed to be written and then writing it after verbally speaking it. He was impressed with his first real book report, and I was impressed with him for actually doing this and doing it well!
After doing the basic book report, we skipped ahead to Season Two (not recommended, but we wanted to try it out right away). I decided to check out the Poetry Book Report since I want to work with all the kids on poetry. I thought this would be a good way to introduce it to Moe Man first. We had a slightly harder time with this unit, but still had a lot of fun with it. We were able to learn about the different types of poems and all the fun words that go along with them! There was a nice final test at the end of this quick study and we were able to see how much Moe Man actually retained.
We are looking forward to moving on to our next section. We haven’t decided if we are going to skip ahead again to Session Three or go back to Session One…They are all so much fun, we have to see what we decide!
What Did We Think?
I was a tad bit hesitant at first with this program. I didn’t know what Moe Man would think, and I didn’t want a daily battle. I did, however, want him to learn how to write a book report and learn to appreciate literature better. This turned out to be the right program for us. We fell in love after the basic book report, and that is the best thing. Once Moe Man gets that feeling of accomplishment, he tries harder at the next part. He felt that after the basic book report and worked hard at the poetry, which made me happy. As much as I loved this program, Moe Man still just considers it a part of school and wasn’t extra thrilled with it. I loved having the schedule laid out for me and the teaching done for me. I actually learned a few things along with Moe Man!
I would recommend this program to anyone with middle school children who need to work on their book reports. We did enjoy it, and plan to continue it as a part of Moe Man’s year of school!
I am hoping over to check out these others reviews from these other ladies since Analytical Grammar has many more products available! I hope you will join me and see what everyone thinks of these wonderful products!