We have had an opportunity before to review materials from this company and so we were really excited to get the chance to review their materials once again. This time we received Language Smarts™ Level E by The Critical Thinking Co.™ which we used with my boys who are 7 and 11. And since right now is the season they are active in the local speech and debate club, this was actually a wonderful addition to our studies!
I have to say when this arrived I was SO surprised! I guess I wasn’t expecting this to be as much as it was. Let me say; this is a HUGE book. A couple hundred pages of material (all fun activities too!) to help our kids improve their reading, writing, punctuation and spelling, grammar, even their thinking skills! This is awesome. I promise I am not just saying that; this really is awesome!
Here is a peek at some of the topics covered in this book:
- How to use a dictionary
- How to use a thesaurus
- Plural and Possessive Nouns
- Perfect Verb Tense
- Compound Subjects
- Punctuation – including commas, quotation marks, colons
- Story Map
- Genres of Literature
- Personal Narrative, Opinion Writing and Informative Writing
And there is more yet!
Let me say before I get too far into this review, that recently I have become a lot more hands-off in my approach with my oldest son. You see, my ultimate goal for my kids is to inspire a love of learning within them. As time has progressed, this year, I have noticed less and less of a desire and curiosity within my oldest, especially. And so, I have been seeking to minimize the “stuff” in our home (this includes curriculum) in the hopes that I can replace it with materials that are inviting and spark his own desire to learn. That certainly doesn’t mean we don’t “do” academics but I strive to find in everything that we are doing, a way to incorporate those basics that every one of our kids needs, to have a strong foundation academically. This book, I was delighted to see upon its arrival, has been just that!
We found a number of ways to use this, that I was thrilled to see, were independently sought out by my children. My oldest son participates in a seasonal speech and debate club; with him moving to an advanced class this book was full of tools to help him expand and strengthen his skills in this area. There were pages to help encourage him to practice prewriting exercises, as well as drafting, revising, editing and finally publishing writing. Even my younger son enjoyed some of the exercises; learning about syllables. And while it may not sound like fun, there are some really fun activities to help them learn in this book. My boys both love puzzles and so it was a bonus that this book is full of them! Some were quite challenging too – glad there was an answer key to help us out a few times! ha-ha
I especially loved the pages within that helped us to exercise a better understanding of adverbs and adjectives. Various forms of verbs and pronouns. Even punctuation.
I cannot say enough how wonderful this is! The amount of material and learning within the pages of this book is such a blessing to us! This is such a well laid out book too ~ Everything is so very well organized (and quite colorful too) in the very front of the book. Even my oldest son appreciated how things were arranged and would seek out specific activities to help him along as he wrote a variety of speeches this fall. Designed for Grade 4 this is a full language arts curriculum but can also be used as a supplement to whatever material you may choose to use. There are over 200 activities within this book so this can easily keep you busy for a school year. Or even more! You can choose either e-book or print form and the series is offered with a number of different levels for grades 1-4. You can even peek at some sample pages if you want to see it for yourself. This really is an amazing book!
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