Language arts and literature homeschool reviews

 

Editor in Chief:

Using Editor in Chief is a fun way for students to flex their grammatical muscles. It’s an effective supplement to any grammar or writing program—students are asked to find the usage, punctuation, and spelling errors in the text of a story, so learning becomes a game as they search. The workbooks help the student put grammar rules to work in a practical way and help develop critical-thinking skills, too.

My daughter used Editor in Chief beginning in the fourth grade and really enjoyed the workbooks (which may have influenced her choice of English as her major in college). Levels A1 and A2 are recommended for grades 4 and 5, levels B1 and B2 for grades 6 to 8, and levels C1 and C2 for grades 9 to 12. The exercises are a challenge, and become even more challenging as the student progresses.

During high school, my children had the benefit of editing in a group setting. They would peer edit other students' work and would, in turn, have their work reviewed by others. Both of my children became excellent writers, and I feel the exercise of editing, learned at an early age, was a large part of their success. Editor in Chief is a fun and effective way to begin learning this valuable skill!

Each workbook includes a "style" guide, an editing checklist, and an answer key. Approx. 60 reproducible pages each, softcovers.

—Lynette


 

Hake's Writing & Grammar:

I've always been a big fan of the Saxon Math teaching method, which facilitates the learning process through long-term repetition. My six children, with a wide range of learning styles, have all benefited from this approach. So we were thrilled when we found a writing and grammar course that utilized the same principles.

Hake's Grammar and Writing presents a new grammar or writing concept every day with review exercises that allow the student to continue practicing concepts previously learned. The detailed lesson presentation encourages students to be self-guided throughout, with very little intervention by the parent/teacher. My three boys have all acquired excellent writing and grammar skills through the use of this program.

Kits include student text and workbook with 107 to 112 lessons; and teacher's packet with test masters and answer keys. Grade 4 to 8. From Saxon.

Cherrie


 

BJU Press-Literature:

I like that this course features selections from all literary genres. Each grade level covers plays, short stories, poems, and novels, so my children were exposed to different authors and classic pieces within each themed level. They were challenged to learn literary terms, and encouraged to analyze the material to apply it to their own lives. The very thorough teacher's guide-with its easy-to-follow lesson plans-provided me with background information, explanations of the material, answers to all the work, and additional activities for my children if needed. It made teaching this program a breeze! It also allowed me to have all the information needed in one place with very little prep time. The separate test book helps you gauge your student's comprehension of the material. My children and I enjoyed this easy-to-use and interesting literature course throughout their middle and high school years.

Student texts include brief introductions to each section; questions; and biographical sketches of authors. Teacher's editions include full-sized student pages, materials for biblical analysis and application, discussion questions, writing activities, and answer keys.

—Cindy


 

Learning Language Arts Through Literature: Gold Book

Using classic literature to teach language arts is an ingenious idea. Who better to learn reading comprehension, vocabulary, and essay writing from than the best of the best writers?

Because this is designed as a teacher-driven course, you will only need the one book, which includes all of the student and teacher information, as well as the answers to the discussion questions. It can be used at any time during high school, with a choice of American literature or British literature. Both of them feature units on novels, essays, and poetry, but American Lit has a short story unit and British Lit has a book review unit. Each one has a list of required reading titles, which are available separately.

This well-rounded course will help your high school students read and understand classic literature and use it for college preparation. Approx. 200 pages, softcover.

—Rebekah


 

Sequential Spelling:

One of my children struggled with reading and spelling. Sequential Spelling'smultilevel and multi-grade approach allowed my daughter to improve her skills faster than a standard program by using word families. Starting with the root word, she was tested daily. By the end of the week, she progressed to a more complex word. She improved her reading skills too because the words are broken down phonetically. She surpassed a few grade levels within the year at a very relaxed pace.

Even though the student is given a spelling test every day as part of the curriculum, this test requires no prep or studying ahead for the student or parent. It allows practice with the building of the root words with no pressure of a grade. I wish I had known about this easy-to-use spelling program for my older children! Two softcovers each, from Wave 3 Learning.

—Cindy