Embracing a Healthy Family: Curriculum
Showing posts with label Curriculum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curriculum. Show all posts

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 by Easy Grammar Systems Review

Grammar is fundamental to every facet of life which is why I was eager to review Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 with the Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 Test Booklet by Easy Grammar Systems. Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 provides 180 daily lessons in only 10 minutes of time each day. It utilizes the concept of continued learning through daily application building on the previous day(s). Another bonus with this curriculum is the ability to reproduce (with limitations) the student pages from the teacher's text. If one does not want to copy the pages for subsequent students, they can purchase the student workbook. The answers are provided in the back making it a very easy open and go curriculum. There is a separate test book with the answers in the back of the book and an option to purchase a downloadable version. The covers of both books are made of a nice reinforced material that does not tear or crinkle easily.

How it Works

A lesson a day in approximately 10 minutes is the expectation for this curriculum. For this review, we utilized it four days a week over a six week review period. 

Each concept is first introduced, expanded, and reviewed in the text. The Scope & Sequence provides rules and which lesson it can be found. Each lesson is set up in a repeating format that will allow them to complete each lesson with ease while focusing on what they are learning.

Every lessons consists of five sections for every lesson:

  • The first section consists of capitalization errors that the student is required to identify and correct. 
  • Section 2 requires the student(s) to correct the punctuation by rewriting the sentence or they can utilize the sentence to provide the correction. I preferred to have mine rewrite the sentences.
  • Section 3 and 4 are the teaching, reviewing and the application of the grammar rules and concepts. It starts out teaching concepts and then subsequent lessons build on it such as incomplete sentences, fragments, and run-on sentences.
  • Section 5 is combining sentences which gave my daughter the hardest time. With my help, we were able to work through them with greater ease as we continued through each day. The knowledge learned in the prior sections and previous lessons help the student gain the knowledge and concept to work through these without as much trouble when they first begin the curriculum.

From my experiences with the curriculum, the level of teacher involvement is dependent on the child's skill level. However, in the Suggestions and Other Information of the Teacher Edition, it does have guidance on how to teach the lessons. I definitely utilized the helpful tips and found it was the key to working with my student.

Getting Started

After I read the answer key for each day, we proceeded with starting Day 1. The suggestion is to have the student provide their insight and discuss answers. A thing to note with the sentence combining exercise is that it does provide information about geography, history, cultures and more so it's a great opportunity to take that knowledge and expand to make the curriculum go outside the grammar scope.

Here are some example pages from different days:

As the lessons proceed, they become a little harder and more intense but again, they do build on the previous lessons. Here is a look ahead at Day 155:

This is an example of the answers so the student can self-check or the lessons can be checked together:

The assessments are found in the Grade 9 Test book. The 18 assessments are given at practical intervals ensuring the student has retained and understood what they were taught. After Day 40, she had her 4th assessment:

Overall, I like the concept of a teaching textbook and the short concise lessons each day. It provides just enough to teach the concepts and to provide practice over the next lessons. I think my student would have benefited from the earlier grade levels and built up to this one as she might be a little behind due to her listening and learning disabilities from having epilepsy. I plan to utilize the grammar curriculum with my 12 year old as she's advanced enough to be able to grasp the learning material while breezing through the daily lessons. This is a gem for the child who prefers short and concise lessons. It provides the knowledge needed for test taking skills and the ability to speak and write properly.

More About Easy Grammar Systems

  • They have received the Parent and Teacher Choice Award from HowToLearn.
  • There are placement tests available at their website.
  • Videos are also available to learn more about Easy Grammar and the author, Dr. Wanda Phillips.

Social Media

Check out Easy Grammar Systems on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

More Reviews

Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew, a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

Easy Grammar, Daily GRAMS & Easy Grammar Ultimate {Easy Grammar Systems Reviews}

Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum: US History Review

I'm a huge history fan which has influenced my children to want to learn more about history and the United States. When presented with the opportunity to review the Pathway to Liberty's US History Year 3/Level 3 by Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum, I was very interested. 

Pathway to Liberty's History Curriculum provides history from a Biblical worldview which I like. Our country was founded on the principles of Christianity and with teaching history, I feel it's an absolute that they go hand-in-hand when taught. Level 3 is designated for grades 7th through 9th as it requires logic, reasoning and application of principles. Pathway to Liberty's suggestion to utilize the curriculum four days a week allowed us to complete four weeks for this review. I liked that there is flexibility in the curriculum. For instance, one can start at the beginning or somewhere else within the book. The curriculum is also designed for one student or more and the material will cover 26 weeks of study beginning with Creation through Ancient Greece for grades k-12. The entire set I'm reviewing is:

  • US History Year 3 Level 3 Teacher's Guide;
  • US History Year 3 Level 3 Student Guide;
  • Chain of Liberty; and 
  • Chain of Liberty Studyguide.

US History Year 3 Level 3 Teacher's Guide

The Teacher's Guide is very comprehensive and when starting out, is broken into key sections on how to use the curriculum along with on-line resources. There is also teacher support available by way of question and answer sessions available by weekly appointments and via e-mail. Additional resources can be found online and lessons utilize YouTube videos to enhance the learning experience. For our level, the core recommended book is The Chain of Liberty and The Chain of Liberty Studyguide by Jayme MacCullough along with some others but I noted those two books since we are reviewing them. 

There is a Table of Contents broken down by the 26 weeks along with a Course Outline that corresponds with each week.

Each week starts out with a Weekly Overview discussing first what the content's theme of the week is along with instructions on how to use the week's lesson. The lessons are organized to be flexible and to fit the lesson plans according to your child's needs. Pathway to Liberty stresses that 'you have the liberty to adjust as you see necessary.'

Each section has the answers to the Student's Guide questions.

US History Year 3 Level 3 Student's Guide

The Student's Guide is set up similar to the Teacher's Guide with Table of Contents, Course Outline and Weekly Overview. As Pathway to Liberty suggests one has the option to do, we jumped to Lesson 21 The Civil War: The Cause. We followed the Weekly Overview provided which resulted in our four weeks of work in the suggested time period.

Since we started with Level 3, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain the different levels and how it works within a lesson:

  • Level 1 students will study through literature by reading a biography and identifying literary terms such as character, setting and plot.
  • Level 2-4 students will watch segments of a documentary on The Civil War by Ken Burns and the study guides help to retain key elements. They will also author a research report throughout the four weeks by selecting a key person. This is now where the differences for these Levels come about. Level 2 students will write a 5-7 paragraph paper using 1-2 sources. Level 3 will write a 7-10 paragraph paper using 2-3 sources and Level 4 students will write a 10-12 paragraph paper using 4-5 sources. Anyone who has taken standardized tests knows how important it is to write essays so learning how to source and write good sound introductions and conclusions is critical.

The lesson starts out with providing a brief summary of the key players within the War as well as highlights from diaries and letters from two soldiers from the North and South and an introduction to Frederick Douglas and his importance through the War. The Teaching Objectives are short and concise.

What I also like about each Lesson, is it starts out with a Scripture, a Principle and a Leading Idea as noted below.

Every lesson for each week has repeating tasks such as the week's Scripture, Principle and Leading Idea in the Student's Guide. Other tasks vary such as for Lesson 21, Level 3, students are instructed to read from The Chain of Liberty, complete the corresponding The Chain of Liberty Studyguide, watch a YouTube video on the Civil War, return to The Chain of Liberty Studyguide and choose a topic to research with guide.

Our first week looked like this:

  • Scripture, Principle and Leading Idea rewrite.
  • Read chapter 12 from The Chain of Liberty.
  • Completing The Chain of Liberty Studyguide questions.
  • Watch Ken Burns' The Civil War Part 1 - The Cause.
  • Complete Student Guide's questions.
  • Chose a topic for the research component.

That was a lot to accomplish and cannot be done in one day so we spread it out over the four days as recommended.  I first made sure I acclimated myself with the week's assignment because the material is across many sources. Once I understood where to locate everything for each task, I felt more confident in teaching the week's assignment. An older student, or one that is more independent, could navigate on their own or with little supervision. For me, I enjoy this topic so I wanted to be an integral part of the learning process.

Subsequent week's assignments looked similar to our first week which made it easier to progress forward with less preparation required. 

Our fourth week concluded wrapping up the studies for this topic. We watched Part 5 of Ken Burns' Civil War but ended up switching over to my paid online video account (external to Pathway to Liberty) to watch it on the TV. My student then proceeded to complete the Student's Guide assignments as well as The Chain of Liberty Studyguide assignments as shown below.

The Chain of Liberty and The Chain of Liberty Studyguide

This was fun to read with my student as I was able to ask questions and answer questions. This time, I read the assignment pages to her because I wanted her to really focus on what I was reading. She asked me what did it all mean and I was able to explain to her that our Christian forefathers created the Constitution as such to avoid an over-archiving federal government and how it's being misused today. After I read it, I had her read it again on her own to ensure she truly absorbed all that she read. The assignments in The Chain of Liberty Studyguide also reinforced what she learned as well as provided an opportunity to apply critical thinking and write answers in her own words.

The Chain of Liberty provided reasons why America is in trouble and I completely agree with the author of the book. It is presented in a way that really details how our founding fathers wrote the Constitution and how the interpretation is being eroded by Executive Orders and judicial decisions. It's a great way to introduce children to civics relative to why they need to be the change. My daughter asked me how can she possibly be the change and I told her to learn and educate others. Become a journalist, a politician or a judge. She said she will write a book! These type of courses are fundamental for our children to be educated on so we have hope in returning to the country our Christian Forefathers had planned.

Here is another example with The Chain of Liberty and The Chain of Liberty Studyguide side by side:

A final aspect that I liked about Pathway to Liberty's US History Level 3 was the emphasis on research and writing. The beginning lessons contain instructions and guidance on researching and writing which is what I utilized to help my student complete her writing assignment on a person from the Civil War. The following is Research Model-the 4 R's which helped her to start her weekly assignments on writing her paper. The two other photos are her beginning her paper as well as the rough draft.

Final Thoughts

Overall, my student was challenged with the Pathway to Liberty's US History Level 3 by Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum work. Once I was able to get the hang of the curriculum, as with most, it was easier to teach. She also found that it once she got used to it, she did enjoy what she was learning. She's big into the Bible and enjoyed learning more about different aspects of our Founding Fathers, subsequent US history and how it all relates to the now. She's eager to start our next lesson. I would recommend the Pathway to Liberty's History Curriculum

Social Media

Follow Pathway to Liberty on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.

More Reviews

Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

Universal History,  The Middle Ages,  US History & World History Curriculum {Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum Reviews}

Progeny Press' Perelandra - eGuide (Interactive) Review


Progeny Press makes earning High School Literature credits easy with high school level study guides such as Perelandra - eGuide. Perelandra is C.S. Lewis' second book in his trilogy Space Trilogy.  C.S. Lewis' Narnia is a favorite of mine which is why I chose this eGuide for my student. The book and interactive eGuide will help the student learn many important skills from famous authors and information such as about the author, research skills, vocabulary words, literary techniques, moral lessons and character values to putting the knowledge to test in writing assignments and activities. Upon completion, the student will have the opportunity to pursue other books by the author or like minded authors and topics. 

If you have never heard of C.S. Lewis' Perelandra, here is a summary of the second book in his trilogy:

A world of seas and floating, multicolored islands, Perelandra is filled with mystical creatures and almost overpowering pleasures. Only two people inhabit this Garden of Eden - the beautiful and innocent Green Lady, and the King, from whom she has been separated. But shortly after Ransom arrives, so does another man from Earth, a man named Weston. Ransom and Weston had tangled before on Malacandra where Weston's mission had been the extermination of the native races in preparation for human colonization. Ransom expects no better in this Perelandrian confrontation. Can Dr. Ransom keep the two original people from following the human race into sin? Full of rich and imaginative description and practical insights into sin and temptation.

The guide is downloadable making it not only quicker to use as there is no wait for shipping but it doesn't require any additional software since it opens in Adobe which is free. It is an interactive eGuide so the student can complete it online and you can grade it online. 

It is broken down into easy to follow sections:

  • Note to Instructor
  • Synopsis
  • Background Information
  • Synopsis of Out of the Silent Planet
  • About the Author
  • Prereading Activities
  • Chapters 1 & 2
  • Chapters 3 & 4
  • Chapters 5 & 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapters 8 & 9
  • Chapters 10 & 11
  • Chapters 12, 13 & 14
  • Chapters 15, 16 & 17
  • Essays and Activities
  • Additional Resources
  • Answer Key

As you can see from the Table of Contents, it's quite robust and it's really an in-depth learning opportunity for your student to dive into an author of this magnitude and one of his best works. To me, I have budding authors in this house to include myself, so having the opportunity to oversea my student's work with curriculum such as this is a thrill. This eGuide is meant to show the student how to better enjoy literature and to notice how each author crafted their stories and how to think through themes and ideas throughout the story. Each section, within the Table of Contents, breaks it down into easy to understand sections that aren't too long or laborious. My students have low attention spans so this allowed us to complete the activities and lessons in a manner more suited for her skill level.

Some of the other things I liked about Progeny Press' Perelandra - eGuide were:

  • Suggested use of a dictionary, a thesaurus and a Bible as all three are important books to master.
  • The entire eGuide is suggested to take eight to ten weeks for most middle and high school level students. The suggestion is to have the student read the novel entirely during the first week and then utilize the eGuide for the remainder of time.
  • Most Christian high schools Progeny Press has spoken to have assigned a one-fourth credit to each study guide!
  • All websites noted in the eGuide have been checked to ensure they are safe for our students.
  • The Synopsis allows the student the chance to reinforce what they just read in the novel and to ensure they fully understood what they read and grabbed the key points that go along with the eGuide.
  • The pages that require student responses allows the student to type in their answers if they opt to utilize the eGuide online which I did like. Interactive guides provide the student more than just a print out which is nice and some students prefer to type in this day and age. Since there are many opportunities to write elsewhere, I was definitely good with this option.
  • Each chapter section is usually a combination of two or three chapters that begins with a vocabulary section, questions that challenge the student's knowledge and what they have read, an analysis section and a section to dig deeper. This requires the student to really think about what they read and to interpret what the author was trying to say. This was always a difficult area for me in school as my interpretation always seemed to not be the same as the teacher's. Although I'm not a huge fan of this, I am when it comes to teaching it because there is no escaping this way of thinking from not only high school to college but also within many careers.
  • The section on Essays and Activities is well rounded from focusing on Point of View lessons to reading Genesis and creating a list of similarities. It's an array of extra activities that will surely inspire the student to learn more. 
  • I found the eGuide was also flexible and I could guide my student around an activity if they weren't really keen on completing it. 

Here is a sample page from Dig Deeper:

Overall, my student did like the eGuide but I think it was too intensive for her as she's 15 but has some learning disabilities from having epilepsy. I am going to retry it with her in a year where I think it will be better suited. I know my robust 11 year old would thrive with this and I will try another eGuide for her to use next. I, myself, really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I would recommend Progeny Press and their interactive eGuides particulary Perelandra - eGuide as there was a lot of pre-work done to write these comprehensive, interactive guides.

Follow Progeny Press on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

See what others on the Crew thought:
New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

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