Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story
Featured , Grammar , Writing / August 26, 2016

Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story Content: Creative Writing Grade(s): 7th and up Religious Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: None Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$$ || ?? Pages: 328 Publication Date: 2016 Publisher: Wondertale Date of Review: August 26, 2016 Common Core Aligned: No Review of A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story: A Creative Writing Curriculum Not often will you get the advice to start reading a book on page 322, but that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you to do with A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story. There, you will find a Note from the Publisher, where parents get the straightforward scoop about this curriculum. I’m going to emphasize 2 points: Students will work hard to finish this course. Parents should expect to be part of the creative writing process. A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story is a workbook written for students. Switching between the narrative voice of the treasure-hunting Captain Yogger LeFossa and the objective voice of the curriculum instructor, A Pirate’s Guide jumps right into its pirate premise. Students are introduced to their role as Scurvy Spat, Captain Le Fossa’s new junior pirate. [If you’ve never read…

BraveWriter KidsWrite
Grammar , Writing / March 18, 2014

Brave Writer KidsWrite Content: Writing Grade(s): Basic (5th – 8th); Intermediate (8th – 10th) Perspective: Secular Parent Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: 166 Publication Date: Publisher: bravewriter.com Updated Review: 03/18/2014 From BraveWriter’s website: Kidswrite Basic covers the first 9 chapters of The Writer’s Jungle. It is a supported environment for completing those exercises and experiencing models of quality feedback (the type and content) from an instructor. This course covers the following skills: Communication (We use a game to get you started! Fun!) Freewriting (The breakthrough tool that has unleashed thousands of blocked writers) Keen observation (The skill needed to dig out the rich vocabulary lurking inside your child) Revising (We give you tools and permission to get in there with your kids and help!) Editing (The mechanics mop up!) Publishing (Share that great writing with the world!) KidsWrite Intermediate is the natural follow-up to Kidswrite Basic, particularly for 8th to 10th graders or high school students who’ve had little experience with writing. KWB is not a necessary prerequisite, however. This course enables students to develop their writing voices while it teaches them how to think rhetorically. We use a variety of…

Writing With Ease
Writing / April 8, 2013

Writing With Ease Content: Writing Grade(s): K-5 Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 256 Publication Date: 2009 Publisher: peacehillpress.com ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** Designed for elementary-aged writers and for older students who still struggle, Writing With Ease builds a sturdy foundation of basic skills for grades 1–5 (or levels 1–5 for the older student who needs more work) all in the same book. Diagnostic tests within the book will help the parent to determine where the child needs to start and which workbook the child will need. Writing with Ease, Workbooks 1 and 2 each provide every dictation assignment, comprehension question, and reading passage that you’ll need for a full year of study. Using passages and sentences from classic children’s literature, Workbook 1 and Workbook 2 allow young writers to practice their skills while absorbing the style and grace of great authors. You can use the Instructor’s text by itself as a guide, then choose your own copywork and dictation; or you can buy the workbooks, which do all the work for you. Each workbook covers one grade. About the Author: Susan Wise Bauer was homeschooled for most…

Rockin’ Root Words
Reading , Writing / May 9, 2011

Rockin’ Root Words Content: Vocabulary Grade(s): 3rd – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: No Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $ || ? Pages: 161 Publication Date: 2010 Publisher: www.prufrock.com Updated Review: May 7, 2014 From Prufrock’s website: If your students like Red Hot Root Words, they are going to love Rockin’ Root Words, an exciting twist on vocabulary development! In these comprehensive books, students will enjoy learning the roots, suffixes, and prefixes of more than 500 common vocabulary, words presented in an easy-to-follow style that utilizes visual learning and word maps to enhance student comprehension and memory. By teaching students word parts using word webs, graphic organizers, and cartoons, teachers can ensure that every student in their classroom understands the basics of vocabulary development. Book 1 is focused on vocabulary for grades 3–5 and covers a variety of topics, including numbers, colors, family and relationships, location and distance, and scientific vocabulary. Book 2 is geared to the more advanced vocabulary needs of students in grades 6–8, covering topics, including time, human emotions and experiences, biological sciences, government and politics, and religion. About the Authors: Manisha Shelley Kaura was a high school senior from the Detroit area when Rockin’…

Red Hot Root Words
Reading , Writing / May 9, 2011

Red Hot Root Words Content: Vocabulary Grade(s): 3rd – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: No Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $ || ? Pages: 120 Publication Date: 2005 Publisher: www.prufrock.com Updated Review: May 7, 2014 From Prufrock’s website: Book 1 – Grades 3-5 A knowledge of word parts gives students a head start on decoding words in reading and testing situations. Each of the well-developed lessons in this text includes: * one to three word parts along with meanings and sample words, * five vocabulary words that use the prefixes or root words, * definitions and sample sentences for each of the five words, * a practice exercise that lets students apply knowledge of the words and their meanings, and * a one-page review worksheet for one or two lessons that presents more unique opportunities to work with the prefixes and root words and to see how they are combined with suffixes. Book 2 – Grades 6-8 This book, the second in a two-book series, contains three sections (prefixes, root words, and suffixes), but each section has the same format. Each of the lessons include: * two to four prefixes, suffixes, or root words along with meanings and…

Brave Writer Help For High School
Grammar , Writing / February 15, 2011

Brave Writer Help For High School Content: Writing Grade(s): 9th – 12th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$$ || ? Pages: 166 Publication Date: Publisher: bravewriter.com Updated Review: 01/02/2014 Reviewer: Sarah Butler MacLeod Brave Writer’s Help for High School is a semester long program designed to “help teens learn how to think, argue, and create their own powerful writing at the same time.” It’s aimed for a teen to read and work through independently, with the parent as “ally” (the author’s word), available for support and conversation while also editing and marking assignments for clarity and thoroughness. Two essay types are addressed, a closed form essay (the traditional formal essay of academic writing) and the open form essay (more informal with the thesis less obviously stated and with a more literary bent). Bogart adds a third category, a hybrid of sorts, which she calls investigative essay writing (or later, an exploratory essay), which seems to be an examination of a problem or question without a specific thesis. An expository essay (closed form and argumentative) follows, with materials on paraphrasing and summary. Help for High School is broken into two parts, Preparation for Essay…

IEW Student Writing Intensive
Reading , Writing / February 8, 2011

IEW Student Writing Intensive Content: Writing Grade(s): A (3rd-5th); B (6th – 8th); and C (9th-12th) Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: 100 Publication Date: 2010 Publisher: www.excellenceinwriting.com Updated Review: 01/02/2014 From Excellence is Writing’s website: Recorded live, this DVD writing course for students by Andrew Pudewa is comprised of four writing sessions on DVD. Each session presents structural models and stylistic techniques from our TWSS Syllabus. Included with the student handouts are complete teacher notes, source texts, and checklists providing fifteen comprehensive lessons to ensure your student masters each unit before moving on to the next. Since each lesson can take one to two weeks to complete, the entire package can provide 15–30 weeks of writing instruction. Level A: Grades 3-5 Level B: Grades 6-8 Level C: High School Picking up where the original SWI of that level left off, Student Intensive Continuation Course DVDs provide 32 more lessons to take your student through the rest of the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style writing units. Because the lesson plans are chock full of material, you can use this product for 1-2 years of writing instruction. All the student handouts,…

Language Mechanic
Grammar , Writing / February 7, 2011

Language Mechanic Content: Grammar Grade(s): 4th – 7th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: N/A Teacher Involvement: Minimal Cost: $ Pages: 172 Publication Date: 2001 Publisher: www.criticalthinking.com Date of Review: 11/13/2013 If you’ve got a quirky kid who likes logic, enjoys word humor, and picks language rules up quickly, then Language Mechanic may be a good grammar curriculum for your family. Each individual lesson begins with an attention “grabber” – a basic fact which is then followed by three sentences: You Write; Reader’s Think; and You Mean (to say). The sentences illustrate a specific grammar rule and demonstrate how it can be misused or misunderstood. A simple grayscale drawing accompanies the sentences to help draw out the humor. A logic box follows, explicitly stating the grammar rule and why it works. Students then complete the Practice items with an adult before attempting the Your Turn section. End-of-lesson Challenge questions can be saved for the next day to reinforce the grammar rule. All told, individual lessons should take no more than 15-20 minutes. Each chapter concludes with a Unit Review, which you can use as a quiz, if you like. These 1-2 page review sheets offer editing practice, as students…

Lightning Literature
High School , Reading , Writing / February 7, 2011

Content: Reading Comprehension Grade(s): 1st – 12th Perspective: Secular and Christian Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$$ || ? Pages: 160 Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: www.hewitthomeschooling.com ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** The Elementary Teacher’s Guide contains comprehension questions on the reading (and answers), instructions for the weekly composition, answers to the Student Guide, and suggestions for extra related activities. The consumable four-color Student Guide includes instruction on grammar (including sentence diagramming) and workbook pages, a reading journal, dictionary pages, and sentence puzzles. Grade 1: Every week, students read a beautiful, classic picture book. Stories include titles such as Harold and the Purple Crayon, Stellaluna, and Make Way for Ducklings. Grade 2: Students begin by reading a beautiful picture book each week. Towards the end of the year, students move to classic chapter books. Grade 3: Students read chapter books, including titles such as Charlotte’s Web, Newbery Award winners like The Wheel on the School, and new friends like The Rickshaw Girl. Composition assignments begin to span 2-weeks. Grade 4: Students read a variety of great children’s literature, classic and modern. Two books written in verse encourage students to explore poetry in different ways than…

The Writing Road to Reading
Reading , Writing / February 6, 2011

The Writing Road to Reading Content: Phonics Grade(s): K-6 Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: Multiple books Publication Date: 2012 Publisher: www.spalding.org Common Core Aligned: Yes ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** Spalding’s Writing Road to Reading, a total language arts program, integrates essential research-based components, an educational philosophy, and a methodology consisting of time-tested principles of learning and instruction. The Spalding Method is explicit, sequential, multisensory, and diagnostic. Students learn the purpose for every task and are active participants throughout Spalding lessons. Daily observations and assessments enable teachers to tailor instruction to meet each child’s individual needs. Spalding teachers believe that students’ physical and mental well-being is a primary concern, that all children can learn, and that they are committed to personal improvement. The K-6 program covers: * Phonemic awareness * Systematic phonics with handwriting * Pronunciation, spelling, and language rules * High frequency vocabulary instruction * Syllabication * Vocabulary development * Morphology (word structure) * Parts of speech and grammar * Composition * Literary appreciation * Text structure * Reading comprehension strategies The complete homeschool program includes the instructor’s guide, word cards, a CD, a DVD, an primer…