Laurelwood Books: Patriotic Penmanship ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Momma, I want to write like you. How many times have you heard your little ones say this? How in the world do you teach a very independent 5-year-old girl to write like her momma? I love the Kindergarten Patriotic Penmanship in manuscript from Laurelwood Books.

A Schoolhouse Crew Review (4)

What Is It

This is a paperback workbook that takes your child through the alphabet. First we practice the letters and phonemes alone, followed by adding in short vowels to make simple words. There are 24 lessons in this workbook. Each lesson will usually last about a week, but you will decide for sure with the level of your child. While this workbook focuses on the short vowel words, you can easily add in long vowels if your child is ready for them.

Patriotic Penmanship

The Patriotic Penmanship series starts in Kindergarten and continues all the way up to high school. Each level adds more words and eventually famous Scripture, hymns, and quotes from the Patriots that helped to form our nation. There are both manuscript and cursive versions. While we are starting with manuscript, I will move Little Miss up to the cursive very soon!

How We Used It

Little Miss is super excited that she is able to start joining in more on these reviews. This was hers for writing skills since she wants to write like me. This was a great way for her to practice her letters. We started working on Lesson One right away. This was a great way to get to know the vowels. These were also simple letters to write. Lesson Two introduced the constants to Little Miss. Once these were introduced, we were now able to start working on words.

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We are falling in love with the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling, and that includes daily copywork to improve our handwriting skills. This workbook works perfect for Little Miss to do this. There are no, "finish this much each day" sections. We just work on a little bit each day with the goal of finishing the lesson at the end of the week, sometimes sooner.

After practicing each letter or letter combination, Little Miss is given the chance to write them on her own. While there is a lot of space, and I will start making her do more on her own, I have just made her write it on her own once or twice each time. While we write, we are learning the phonemes of each letter, and adding them together when we add another letter to the word we are working on. So not only does Little Miss work on her handwriting, she is working on her reading skills as well!

Patriotic Penmanship Review

What We Thought Of It

We loved this program. The letters were simple enough to trace and Little Miss had no issues with that. We were able to have a guideline of what should be done and do them at our pace without worry. Little Miss is able to practice on her own after tracing yet it is not required as to how many to write.

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I loved finding the Scriptures and reading them to Little Miss as we went. I am excited to see how much she will learn to write as we progress into higher levels of this series. I loved finding a simple writing program that doesn't have all the extra silly stuff that is not needed.

We were not the only ones to review a book from Laurelwood Books. There were different levels of Patriotic Penmanship along with other workbooks that were sent to Review Crew families. Check out these reviews by clicking here:


Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}

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Wordsmithy ~ A Book Review

How do you build confidence in a child who hates to write? One who will fit you all the way, plus some? You look for a writing help guide that has nothing to do with writing of course! What? Yes! A writing help guide that has nothing to do with writing, like Wordsmithy Hot Tips for the Writing Life by Douglas Wilson.

Wordsmithy Review

Moe Man does not write! He fights every time that I try to make him write. What is a homeschool mom to do? Well, you keep your eyes open and jump when you see something that offers what both mom and son want. A simple book to read that will give ideas on how to be a better writer without the actual writing.

Wordsmithy Review

What Is It

Wordsmithy is a 120-page book that your child will read. There are no writing assignments, yet your child will walk away with many new ideas for their writing assignments. There are 7 chapters, each containing about 7 mini lessons. Each lesson has takeaway points like "Love what you observe, love what you write and love those who read it." Chapter Four Part Seven. These takeaway points are just little tidbits of what your child needs to hear to know that their writing is better than they think it is. Wordsmithy is part of Timberdoodle's 11th Grade Complete Curriculum Set, but is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Wordsmithy Review

How We Used It

This was simple, assign a lesson to read and have your child read a little bit each day. When you notice that your child is interested in a particular topic, you have the recommended readings to assign. With Moe Man, I did not assign these, but was happy to see that when we re-read this book next year, we will be able to add more. We used this as a way to build confidence, to let Moe Man know writing is not just for a grade, but for those who will be reading it.

Wordsmithy Review

What We Thought

Moe Man loved this book. There were no assignments and he loved that. He was able to simply read this and take information away from it, which is his favorite kind of writing! Now that he is done, I have taken this book and plan to read it for me and my writing. That is what I like about it. This is a one size fits all kind of writing book. You're a newbie? No problem! Read this book and get some starter tips! You're an expert? Awesome, check out these tips to make your writing better! Whatever kind of writer you are, you have to read this book!

Guess what!!! I get to give away 2 copies of this wonderful book!! Do you want your own copy? Do you have a shipping address in the US? You need to enter this giveaway if you answered yes to both of these questions!!

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Super Teacher Worksheets ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What do you do when your child does not understand something? What if you need something fun to practice what you are learning? Where do you go for that? I have fallen in love with the Individual Membership over at Super Teacher Worksheets for just these types of problems!

Super Teacher Worksheets

What It Is

This is a wonderful website that has worksheets and games for preschoolers and beyond. Most of the “grades” are up to the 5th grade, but I loved the practice that these were able to give to Moe Man in the 9th grade when it comes to some subjects!

This is not a full curriculum in any way, but can be used to supplement any curriculum that you may have. All major subjects are covered and within those subjects, all major categories are there. You are even able to make your own extra practice sheets when needed.

How We Used This

I love supplementing when I want my kids to practice something a little more. I don’t like looking all over and wasting my time trying to find just the right thing. That is where Super Teacher Worksheets came into play. I would look at our lesson plan, and look on the menu, find the matching worksheets, pick the one, or two, that I wanted and away we went.

Ray Ray has been asking me for some time to have a color by number like Little Miss had, when I found the scarecrow addition color by number, I was thrilled! Not only did he get what he wanted, mommy got what she wanted by having him practice his addition skills.

Super Teacher Worksheets

When Moe Man forgot about algebraic expressions (really who remembers that stuff anyway!), I was able to find some simple worksheets that refreshed his memory in a fun, non-threatening way. When his double digit multiplication was missing a step, I was able to find fun, colorful worksheets to help him practice. (These simple things are a MUST for him and his learning).

Super Teacher Worksheets

And when Little Miss wanted to be like her brothers, I was able to add some letter worksheets into her daily work! There is truly something for everyone here!

With all the supplementing, I was able to find something for everyone to do in different subjects, so we are using this website daily. Each worksheet is at least two pages, with the answers included. When printing, I would only print the student pages to help save on paper and ink. I could always go back and check the answers on the computer. The only time this did not work was when it was a build your own worksheet. That is where the File Cabinet comes in, just remember to save your worksheet to the file cabinet before you generate it…I forgot this step the first time!

What Did We Think

I love this website! While I was given an individual membership for this review, I have my own account that I set up and purchased before this review. I plan to continue my membership after this review as well. This is a site that I have found very useful in our homeschooling. It is a site that I do use on a daily basis. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

If you need more opinions, check out these other reviews from The Crew! If you do, or have had this membership, what is your favorite feature of it?


Super Teacher Worksheets Review


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The Pros and Cons of Cursive Writing

The Pros and Cons of Cursive

To learn cursive or not? That seems to be the question. I remember learning how to write in cursive in 3rd grade at public school. Now, that same school does not require the students to learn cursive or if they do, they don’t require students to write in cursive like I had to. As much as I disliked it, I love being able to use it when I need to, like signing my name!

Each one of our kids at Hopkins Homeschool will be learning cursive. We have found that each child learns to write in cursive in a different way, and the benefit of homeschool means that we can adapt to each one of our children in this aspect.

Pros and cons of cursive - Educents Blog

The Argument to Teach Cursive

Some parents and educators want cursive handwriting to be included in students’ lessons. Here’s what they said about that:

  • How will they ever be able to read historical documents such as the constitution, etc if they don’t learn to read and write in cursive? -Sara J.
  • I don’t think it has been taught in our school for at least the last 10 to 15 years. Cursive writing will become a lost art in America. I think it should still be taught. -Claudia A.
  • Yes! It’s part of my children’s 2nd grade homeschool curriculum. They just started doing it, and they are so excited about it. 🙂 -Angela M.

Cursive - Educents Blog

Download FREE cursive handwriting worksheets on Educents!

The Argument Not to Teach Cursive

Some say cursive is no longer an essential lesson to teach kids, here’s their reasonings for that:

  • No, it’s not relevant anymore. Learn typing instead. -Robert C.
  • Honestly, it’s no longer important. Teach them to sign their name; then teach them to convey their thoughts, and be persuasive, via oral and written communications. Why would we want to spend valuable school time, beyond a day or two, teaching someone to sign their name in cursive? Why don’t we spend time teaching calculations via abacus or slide rules? -Gary F.
  • I can read Shakespeare, Mark Twain and the Bible among other things all without ever needing cursive. Just don’t get the hype. -Mike E.

Handwriting Resources for Kids

Are you an educator or parent who wants to spend time teaching your kids how to write in cursive? If so, these resources from Educents will make it a lot more easy and FUN to learn cursive. Super Cursive Freebie - Educents Blog

Web Learning Resources for Kids

Online learning is becoming even more important for the next generations. Educents also has affordable resources that helps children develop their typing and coding skills. Writing Programs - Educents Blog

  • Learn to Mod with Minecraft – Did you know kids can learn how to code by modifying (or “modding”) Minecraft®? Kids learn how to code in Java® and apply it to Minecraft® themed problems!
  • The WriteWell App – A simple and intuitive web-based tool that makes writing fun and effective. With its unique visual and tactile interface and library of interactive essay templates, WriteWell is a convenient tool for teachers and students at home or in the classroom.
  • Handwriting Worksheet Wizard – StartWrite helps teachers, homeschoolers, and parents create handwriting lessons quickly and easily. This program saves hours in lesson preparation time, yet allows you to easily create fun, meaningful worksheet to teach handwriting.

What do you think?

Is cursive something you feel is important for your children to learn? Do you, or will you teach it in your homeschool?

CursiveLogic ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

CursiveLogic Schoolhouse Crew Review

When you think of the long lost arts, what do you think of? Does the art of cursive cross your mind? CursiveLogic is helping to make sure that this in fact, does not become a long lost art!

CursiveLogic Schoolhouse Crew Review

We were able to check out the CursiveLogic Workbook as part of this review, and after reading about how simple it would be to learn the art of cursive, I decided that this might just be the thing to help Moe Man finally learn how to write in cursive.

What It Is

CursiveLogic is a simple spiral bound workbook that packs a lot of punch for its little size! There are just over 95 pages of learning in this book. You have your lessons, but you also have 3 laminated pages that will allow your child unlimited practice in mastering the basic steps of CursiveLogic.

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CursiveLogic was started when a 23 year old student named Josh wanted to learn cursive, but at the age of 23, most people thought it was too late to teach this student. When Linda sat down to see what she could do to help this student learn this basic way of writing, she found that cursive could be taught in 4 simple categories. She found that instead of teaching 26 letters, you could teach children these simple steps and all the letters would fall into place from there.

This one book, is all you need to teach your child how to write cursive, and after lesson one, they will have already learned enough to write simple words in cursive, talk about incentive!!

How We Used This

Ok, so cursive for an 8th grader is interesting to say the least. He wants to learn, but feels too old to learn. I made Moe Man work on the lessons at his own speed, and loved the hidden smiles (he’s a 14 year old boy) when he got it!

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Lessons are simple, they start out with teaching and reviewing the shapes and then practice, practice and practice some more. Once your child has mastered all four shapes, they are ready to go out into the world and write in cursive!

We took our time with Moe Man and took the lessons a little slower. He has always struggled with the fin motor skills, so spacing out the work, worked for him perfectly.

What We Thought

I loved this program. I found It to be simple, yet effective. Moe Man learned how to write in cursive, after being told he wouldn’t be able to, so to me that is a huge thumbs up! I loved the color coding in helping to teach the kids, Orange oval, etc… This made it easy to talk about where he was struggling, and to help him visually see the different parts of the letters. (Color coding is awesome for kids with certain learning disabilities).

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Moe Man loved feeling accomplished almost immediately and that led him to work harder the next day. He loved that I was able to print up some extra practice sheets when he learned all the parts, so that he could practice just a little more before going crazy in the real world writing.

I loved listening to Moe Man using the catch phrases to remember each stroke. These phrases really helped to cement in his mind what he was learning. He thought it was funny and unneeded when learning to write, but I catch us both using those phrases as we write now. Yes, I am saying these simple phrases when I use cursive too, that is how catchy they are!

If you have a student who is “too old” to learn cursive, or a student who is too challenged by the traditional ways of learning cursive, I would suggest that you check out CursiveLogic. This worked for us, and I have a good feeling it will work for you too!

 



CursiveLogic Review

 

 



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Dynamic Literacy ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Dynamic Literacy Review

Root words, prefixes, suffixes, what do all those mean? These are the parts of words that make up our language. But how do you teach these parts of the words? Dynamic Literacy will help with their WordBuild: Elements, Level 1 Set (Includes WordBuild the Game).

Dynamic Literacy Review

What is it?

Elements, Level 1 is a softcover teacher’s guide, a softcover student’s activity book and a CD of WordBuild the Game. Together, these three products make a wonderful program for learning words!

The softcover teacher’s book has 330+ pages of information for you, the teacher! I loved this book. It had everything I needed. There are weekly schedules and answers to the student pages here. Each day is there is a simple 15 minute or less plan of what you can and should do with your student(s).

The 150+ page student book comes with all you need for your child to learn. Each day has a different activity to make learning about our words that much more easy and fun!

Finally, the WordBuild the Game CD, works great for any Windows or MAC computer. This program helps your child to play on the computer while practicing what they have learned for the week.

How We Used This

While most families would jump right in on day 1 of week 1, we took things back a step and started with Appendix A and learning some basics. These simple pages only took minutes to do and learn. We were able to make our way through a couple a day, and still not do more than 20 minutes of work.

After we finished our advance prep we started in on the units. These units are set up for use for 5 days. You have an overview of the days so you know what you will be doing each day. The lesson time for each day is usually only 15 minutes, but can be extended if you wish to. At the end of each unit is a review of the root word to see what your child was able to retain. When needed there are other advance preparations for the different root words.

Dynamic Literacy Review

We also had WordBuild The Game in this bundle. This was a fun way for Moe Man, and myself, to review what we were learning. A simple game of trying to build as many words as you can from the root word, WordBuild also teaches the meaning of the words you are making them, showing the meaning of each part and then the full word when you are done.

What We Thought

Moe Man was nervous when it came to adding another language concept to his daily schedule. However, once we got started and he realized it didn’t take much time, he started to have fun. He liked the chance to learn new words and he loved that the daily worksheets resembled games more than anything else. He didn’t like the quizzes at the end, but he never likes those! He enjoyed WordBuild the Game just as much as the workbook. He found that he could do the game along with the workbook and learn new words that way.

I loved how complete the teacher’s guide is. This is a grab and go lesson and I appreciate that as a homeschool mom of more than one child. I loved the quiz at the end, because it showed me that Moe Man was learning, even with just short lessons and games. I was able to teach the simple lesson, let him work on the activity, or play the game and we were done. It is not every day that you are able to have a fun lesson and know your child is learning from it!

Both of us give Dynamic Literacy a thumbs up! We loved how simple and fun it was. If you need a program to teach vocabulary, this should be looked at!!

How do you teach vocabulary in your homeschool?


Dynamic Literacy ReviewCrew Disclaimer

 

 

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style with Student Writing Intensive Level B ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Do you have a child who hates to write? Fights you every chance they get? Do you have a child who has a hard time learning to read and write what they are reading? Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has just the program for you, and your child! Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Student Writing Intensive Level B has been working miracles for Moe Man, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it!

IEW Review

Moe Man and I were given the opportunity to review Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (TWSS) and Student Writing Intensive Level B. We both went into this review with open minds, but opinions all the same. It didn’t take long for those to change, for the better!

IEW Review

This program is made up of two parts, first of all there is the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (TWSS) for the parents/teachers. Here is where you will find yourself learning before you try to teach your child in this new way of learning writing.

Included in the TWSS kit there are 12 DVDs that teach you each area of study before your student learns it. There is also the Seminar and Practicum Workbook, and your Premium Subscription information. Your workbook contains everything you need to learn the style of writing you will be teaching. There are spaces to take notes and practice sheets for you to actually do the work along with Andrew Pudewa and the DVDs. Along the sides of the pages, it shows what posters you should have hanging up for your student, and a mini set of those posters comes with your Premium Subscription. Your Premium Subscription includes video streaming of your DVDs, monthly training (from August-May), audio MP3s and several digital PDF downloads.

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 I had no idea how fun and relatable Andrew Pudewa would be. From the minute the first video started, all the way up to the current unit I am working on, I have felt like I am listening to a friend. Andrew has helped me to understand that Moe Man and I learn writing in different ways. Knowing this, makes me understand that while I would work and take notes one way, Moe Man will most likely choose different words and ways to take his notes.

I enjoyed spending time in the evenings, while kids were in bed, watching my seminar videos and learning about this new to me way of writing. While new to me, this style of writing has been around since at least Benjamin Franklin. I loved learning beforehand, the way that Moe Man would be learning to write. Knowing and learning in the same way as he was going to, made it easier for me to be a supportive teacher for him and his way of learning.

Moe Man worked on using the Student Writing Intensive Level B program. This included 5 DVDs with Andrew as the teacher and a student notebook with the student handouts and a sample schedule for the parents. While this can be used without the TWSS parent’s program, I highly recommend both together!

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We used this daily, 5 days a week, for Moe Man’s writing program. Spending one day watching a video and learning a new topic, than spending at least 4+ days after that working on practicing the skills they were learning. The first day, with the video was always the longest, lasting up to 40 minutes. While this may seem long for watching a learning video, Andrew makes it fun and I never heard a complaint about length from Moe Man. There are plenty of worksheets, and you learn how to find more if needed, for your child to practice the skill learned for the following days. Those days only take up to 15-20 minutes, depending on the speed of your child.

Moe Man fell in love with Andrew from the minute he started talking. When Andrew explained his feelings towards writing, and having those same feelings himself, Moe Man could relate. Having a teacher he could relate to opened his mind to what he was going to learn. If you know Moe Man, having an open mind to writing is a HUGE thing for him!! He told me, that Mr. Pudewa was easy to understand. When you have a subject that is difficult for him to understand, I love hearing that he has a teacher who is easy to understand. Moe Man is also happy to be told he “has to” use a pen. Listening to the teacher and making sure I heard the “fun” things he got to do made this even more enjoyable to Moe Man to use.

I loved this program as a whole! We both enjoyed our sections and knowing we had finally found “the program” for writing made me happy. I have thoroughly enjoyed IEW and their writing lessons for Moe Man. Andrew Pudewa has saved my sanity and our writing lessons! Thank you so much for this!!!

Have you used IEW, any of their awesome programs? Which ones have you used? 

IEW Review

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Memoria Press New American Cursive ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Cursive, that long lost art…one that should not be a long lost art! Ray Ray has been using the New American Cursive: Penmanship Program I from Memoria Press and we are loving this new way of writing in our house!

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The New American Cursive book sells for $22.95. With that you get the spiral bound physical copy. The first couple of pages include a wonderful introduction, and a teaching guide. This is just the teaching guide, not an actual teacher’s manual. The teaching guide is enough to allow you to use this workbook to its fullest potential without losing out on any of the benefits. Memoria Press does sell a Lesson Plan set with extra practice pages, you do not need those to make New American Cursive work.

Within the teaching guide, you learn the proper posture, pencil and paper positions. These are all crucial in making sure you are able to learn New American Cursive. If you have issues understanding what the words are saying, Memoria Press has YouTube videos to help you actually see what they want you to do.

New American Cursive Homeschool Crew Review

New American Cursive has Mr. Meerkat as their mascot! Mr. Meerkat helps make the learning of cursive fun for the children. We begin learning with him on hold to hold our pencil and moving into the three basic forms of cursive writing. After learning about these, we move into practicing writing those. This makes for a great practice of pencil position.

When it comes to learning the letters, we are taught those letters in three ways. First we say the letter together. This way, your child can associate the letter to the name. After saying the letter, we move on to feeling it. Without the pencil, we feel the letter with our finger and trace it. After feeling the letter, we are than ready to write it.

New American Cursive Homeschool Crew Review

Now that we have learned the letter, we are able to practice it. They even throw in a word as we are practicing each letter. As fun as this is…I don’t like it. There are letters that have not been learned, and trying to write a letter you don’t know, makes you just trace it. This leads to tracing wrong and thinking that is how you should write it. I was able to see this right away with Ray Ray. He did not know how to make any letter but “a” and when he tried to write “apple” he was not writing the letters correctly. This makes me fear that he will struggle when we get to those letters.

New American Cursive Homeschool Crew Review

To finish each lesson/letter we get to do a fun exercise and artwork. Letter A had us exercising on the letter with Mr. Meerkat. The following letters let us learn how these letters can “hold hands”. Each page also contains white space…for your child to make their own artwork with the letters.

After every three letters, we get to do a review lesson. This is the time to make sure your child knows what they are learning. This is there time to show you what they know. It also helps them to make sure they don’t forget what to do for each letter.

Ray Ray loves using this workbook. He is so excited to learn the new letters and to write in cursive. He doesn’t like to print. He never has liked printing. When he was asked if he wanted to learn cursive, he jumped! New American Cursive is aimed at younger students and makes the learning fun and easy for them. When it comes to something like cursive, the easier it is to learn the better! This is something that everyone needs to learn. I love that Ray Ray is understanding and loving this learning process. I love that we are able to learn with Mr. Meerkat and not just mom. Seeing him work this hard and enjoy this is a wonderful thing for me.

I asked Ray Ray what he thought of the program. I got an answer of “Do I have to quit now that the review is done?” He was worried that he would not be able to finish learning. This is a good sign coming from a 6 year old boy who hates to sit still. Memoria Press has made a wonderful workbook to help children learn the long lost art of cursive.

Do you teach cursive in your homeschool? What age do you start?

 



Memoria Press Review

 

 



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Fix It! Grammar from IEW ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

IEW Fix It! Grammar

How do you teach your child grammar? What about a child who despises everything to do with writing? You could let them become an editor of a story like the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) lets them do in their Fix It! Grammar Books. Moe Man and I had the chance to use Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1], both the Teacher’s Manual and the print copy of the Student Book.

What Is It?

IEW’s Fix It! Grammar is a simple way to work with your child on grammar daily for only about 10-15 minutes. The Fix It! Grammar program is a full grammar program for 3rd grade and up. We started with book one after taking this placement test.

The Teacher’s Manual is a lovely spiral bound book. Included in this book are the weekly lessons, with the answers, explanations of those answers, scope and sequence for the year and the grammar glossary. Also, at the beginning of the teacher’s manual is the way to download your student book for FREE along with two e-audios for your enjoyment. Yes, I said you get to download your student’s book for FREE and they even give you permission to download it as many times as you need to for your immediate family’s use. All of that for just $19.00!

Now if you want the actual printed Student Book, IEW has that too. For $15 you are able to get this in the same spiral bound style as the teacher manual. You get the daily lessons separated by weeks, the grammar glossary and the grammar cards to help your student remember what they have already learned.

IEW Fix It! Grammar

Besides the teacher manual and the student book, the only other recommended/needed items are a notebook for vocabulary words and the re-writing of the passage and an envelope for storing your grammar cards.

How Did We Use It?

Every day, for 4 days a week, we would sit down and work on these lessons. Day 1 would include me spending more time with Moe Man than any other day as we went over the new rules for the week. I would make sure he understood what we talked about, confirm he remembered the information from previous weeks, and make sure that he had his grammar cards cut out and ready to go. We would go over the daily vocabulary words, with Moe Man using his new dictionary skills to look them up and find the correct definition for the word within the sentence.

Once I made sure he had it, Moe Man was excited to work on his grammar…yes, I said excited! On days 2-4, he would take his time and go over the passage, do the markings that he knows at that point and have me check it. After making sure that he had it marked correctly, he would proceed to re-write it in his notebook. At the end of every week, he would than read the story up to the point where he was. I would take this a step farther than suggested, and I would ask him to guess what would be happening next. This is my kid who doesn’t want anything to do with writing or analyzing his writing. But this is the kid who loves to read…and to become the editor of a story…well let’s just say this is different from most other grammar lessons!

IEW Fix It! Grammar

What Is Our Opinion?

I can tell you, after using this program for some time now, I really love it! There is very little prep each day. The word simple is the only word I can use to truly describe this! Moe Man always asks to do this first in the day. He is understanding the simple layout, the repetition of daily use helps him remember and since it only takes 15 minutes he can’t complain about the time it takes! In fact, this kid who doesn’t want anything to do with writing, this kid who fights me when I try to work with him on grammar, this kid has asked me if we could please continue using this program after the review is over! He even went so far as to ask if there were more so that he could do a different book next year for grammar! If this kid is asking me this, than you should be able to guess that I have a good opinion about this grammar program!

We love this, and the fact that the kids are working on a full story through the whole year makes them want to keep going so they can finish it. We did book 1, there are 6 books total and each book is a different story. That makes for 6 years of grammar. Moe Man won’t be able to finish all of them…unless he really wants to, but I am hoping that Ray Ray, Little Miss and the new baby will all be able to start these right away and finish all 6! IEW has made a wonderful grammar program that is easy to use, but effective at teaching your child what they need to know in a fun way!

Stop by and check out these other reviews, and see some of the other books they were able to review!


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Analytical Grammar ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

BTBR

 

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!


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