Monday, October 20, 2014

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: 180 Daily Teaching Lessons – Grade 8
By Easy Grammar Systems

About the curriculum

  • 180 daily teaching lessons
  • 10 minute lessons
  • Concepts presented in an easy, step-by-step manner
  • Building-block approach

Emphasis is placed on phrases (gerund, infinitive, participial, etc.) and concepts at Grade 8 level

The Easy Grammar Ultimate Series texts are similar to both Easy Grammar andDaily GRAMS. The texts are like Easy Grammar in that they are teaching texts. Concepts relating to phrases, clauses, compound-complex sentences, and other higher-level concepts (as well as basics) are presented in a 180 daily lesson format found in Daily GRAMS texts. Concepts are introduced, reintroduced, applied, expanded, etc. throughout each text. See the "Scope and Sequence" for each EGUS level: Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, and Grade 12.

My Thoughts

We have been using Easy Grammar since Alexandre started grade 3.   After seeing the result is has made on him in learning English grammar, we decided to purchase the grade 2 book in order to prepare his siblings to the method of Easy Grammar. 

This year after 5 years of using the methodology of Easy Grammar, Alexandre embarked on a new journey with  the 180 Daily Teaching Lessons from Easy Grammar for upper grades.     The 180 Daily Teaching Lessons consists of the Teacher book, the student workbook and the test booklet.  The presentation is very different to what Easy Grammar was but the concept is still the same.  

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Essentially, each day the student will go through exercises that will reinforce his/her knowledge of grammar.  The exercises consist of applying rules for capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech as well as sentence combining.    Each “lesson” will take approximately 10 minutes per day.  Every ten lessons, you can assign a test to your student in order to see if your student has mastered the material covered.   

For the past few weeks, Alexandre has been using the 180 Daily Teaching Lessons from Easy Grammar.   It is very different for him compared to the previous years where he had to learn the rules of grammar.  This time around, he has to complete some exercises while allows him to recall what he has learned in the past.    However, even though he has a strong understand of the grammar rules in English, I find this series will allow him to retain and put in practice all the things he has learned during his elementary years in primary homeschool.    As this point in time, the only issue I can see he has would be in the sentence combining exercises.   Sometimes he forget a part of a sentence while other times his sentence is too long.  However, when the test comes around, he has understood his errors during the exercises and apply it properly.  

To be honest, I almost wish that I would have had these books when I learned English grammar during my primary and high school years.   Being Francophone, I think my English would have greatly flourished if I had used these in the past.  Mind you, I am learning alongside my own kids because I am teaching them using the techniques presented in the Easy Grammar books.   And I have seen the difference it made for a child who learn easily as well as for a child who is learning differently and who takes longer to understand the rule.    All my kids are thriving using Easy Grammar.   I highly recommend it for anyone considering a curriculum to teach English Grammar.  

If you student has not learned the various rules of grammar during his elementary homeschool days, I strongly suggest that you use the Easy Grammar Plus curriculum which will provide the lessons needed in order to understand English Grammar.  Then the transition to the 180 Daily Teaching Lessons can be done easily with more practice throughout the high school years.

Note that the student workbook does not contain the answer key and is to be used in conjunction with the teacher’s guide.  Though technically, since the teacher’s guide allows you to reproduce the pages of the exercises, you might only need the teacher’s book for your own use.  The test booklet will give the parent a way to assess their child’s mastery of the concepts.  The test is reproducible for student use.

The teacher edition of this curriculum is available to purchase in paper or pdf format for the price of 26.95$.  The student workbook is available for purchase in paper format for the price of 13.95$.  The test booklet is available for purchase in paper or pdf format for the price of 5.95$.  (all in US dollar)

These resources are also available as a kit on amazon.com.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Easy Grammar Systems for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Back in early September, I saw something very interesting while I was at the Shoppers Drug Mart near my home – Star Wars Workbooks for Math and English for various grades.    I was curious and pick one to check it out.   I immediately thought that my daughter, Jasmine, would love working on the English workbooks for reading and writing during our homeschool. 

The series of the Star Wars Workbooks contains over twelve titles from Pre-K to 2nd Grade on core subjects like numbers, ABCs, phonics, and reading for the younger grades to math, reading and writing for the older ones.     The material is designed to reinforce essential concepts and lessons taught. Any child, not just fans of Star Wars—but yes, those fans will be especially delighted (as will reluctant learners)—will love the “A” is for Anakin approach to phonics. Kids will practice learning numbers by counting and circling X-wing starfighters and clone troopers. Master place values by sorting groups of Wookiees. There are math problems—Yoda is holding 7 lightsabers. 5 of the lightsabers are blue. The rest are green. How many green lightsabers is he holding? And Language Arts—Circle the correct homophone in this sentence: Luke is a Jedi knight/night.   Each book is different but all features the favorite characters like Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and other creatures, monsters, Jedi, and Sith.  The workbooks are filled with thousands of original illustrations drawing from all six Star Wars movies and the expanded Star Wars universe.
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My sweet Jasmine has started using the Grade 1 reading and writing books in order to introduce her to the way these books are presented.   She was delighted to get them and use them in her homeschool.  The books are well presented, very colorful and will provide enough writing and reading activities for her.   In the first grade reading workbook, she has to read some words and plug them into full sentences.   Since she is having difficulty in reading (we are working on this), I am helping her by reading the sentence.  However, she reads the words herself.   Each exercise also has an image which illustrate the sentences on which she is working on.   This workbook will also present nouns, verbs and adjectives as well as spelling and vocabulary lists.  The first grade writing skills workbook reinforce the writing of the alphabet, the identification of sight words as well as sentence and story construction.  The grade 2 workbooks for reading and writing continue to reinforce these skills by giving slightly more difficult exercises and introducing new notions like adverbs, different genres of reading, main ideas, settings, and characters as well as creative writing and story prompts.

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Her older brothers – grades 4 and 5 – wish that there were similar books for them to use.    With these workbooks, learning is fun and like Yoda would say: “Learn well, you will.”.

All these workbooks are available at amazon.ca and amazon.com.

Preschool

 

 

 

Kindergarten

 

 

 

Grade 1

 

 

 

Grade 2

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

9780544340978The Giver Quartet
Written by Lois Lowry
Published at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the book

This first-ever Lois Lowry single-volume collection includes unabridged editions of the Newbery Medal-winning The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Lois Lowry's groundbreaking dystopian series comes alive in a single portable volume. An affordable addition to the shelves of teen fans and collectors alike.

My Thoughts

I first discovered the Giver novel when I realized that the book was been made into a movie.   Being the kind of person who prefers to read the book before watching the movie, I found a copy at a second hand store and quickly read through it.  By the time, I read the last line of the book I was hooked and wanted to read the rest of the series.  However, I was having trouble finding the other titles at a second hand store.   Imagine my delight when the four books were offered in a one volume edition.   I was so looking forward to read the rest of the series that I immediately jumped in this book when I received it.

The Giver Quartet includes all the four books that are part of The Give series:  The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.    These four titles are linked through the series though you wouldn’t think so after reading the first and the second installments.  But when you arrive the the third and then the fourth, you realized how intertwined the books are.

The Giver is the story of twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment - world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality.   It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.  In Gathering Blue,  you will follow the life of Kira who, when left orphaned and physically flawed in a civilization that shuns and discards the weak, faces a frighteningly uncertain future. But Kira possesses a gift that the leaders of her village wants to use.  This novel will challenge you to think about community, creativity, and the values that they have learned to accept. Messenger is the story of Matty which was primarily introduced in Gathering Blue.  In this book, you will follow him in quest of a personalized name and in helping bringing life in the midst of death and fear. Finally, Son is the story of Claire who fled her village and is found on the shore.   She is on a quest of finding where she is from and what became of the child she has birth.  This compelling book is the conclusion of the series.

The four books are a delight to read and are different than any other kind of literature.   It is a perfect series to introduce the teen in your life to a different kind of society and how he/she would react if living in it.   Each books are thought provoking and make you realize that having the perfect society is not necessarily the best.  This series is a fabulous read and can open numerous discussions between you and your teen.  

This book is the perfect gift for a teenager this coming Christmas.     

The Giver Quartet is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even amazon.ca and amazon.com.

  

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Homeschool Adventure

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