Friday, May 24, 2013

Budding Authors & 6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar

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If you have been a LSG reader for any length of time, you have probably heard me mention that we struggle with writing.  For the most part, my girls can be pretty reluctant writers.  They are good with grammar, but I think they just lack confidence with writing.

Joyce Herzog's Budding Authors Series and 6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar, a review we received from the TOS Crew, seemed like just the thing to get us going. 

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Let me tell you a little about the series. The Budding Author series is a five book series that takes students from copywork and dictation to writing their own stories, researching topics and writing reports.  The books are not grade specific, you would just use the book that best suits where your student currently is with their writing. 
  • Step Into Writing ($10) is the first book in this series.  It starts off gently by introducing dictation of simple stories, copywork and then "experiencing the story," which is when the child dictates their story for someone else to write down for them.This book also includes helpful checklists that remind students to capitalize, and check their spelling and puntuation.  
  • Step On Into Writing ($10), the second book in the series, continues with the same format as book one, this time adding in vocabulary and "Write Your Own Story" pages.
  • Adventuring In Writing ($10), which is book three, is a bit different then the first two books.  Here students see a picture, are given questions and a word bank to draw from.  This book encourages students to think more on their own.  
  • Then and Now ($12), the fourth book, focuses on writing paragraph.  Indenting is automatic with built in indentions on the page.  This book includes pictures from the early 20th century, students are encouraged to compare then and now.  Then and Now helps students to develop thinking skills while learning to write paragraphs.  
  • Writing US History ($15) is the final book in the series.  This level takes students through US History while teaching them research and writing skills.  Students write about topics such as Pilgrims, Patrick Henry, George Washington, the Gold Rush and the Roaring Twenties. 

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6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar ($12) is a small, yet meaty, booklet that gives a compressive overview of grammar.  This book covers topics such as parts of a sentence, nouns, pronouns, prepositional phrases, capitalization rules, spelling rules, verbs and irregualr verbs.   

This is not a traditional grammar workbook.  It follows the teaching style from many years ago, state it simply and give an example.  This little gem helps to make grammar concepts clear in a very simple fashion. 

What we thought:
I found that I really liked this whole series, it is quite the breath of fresh air from many grammar and writing books I have seen.  Very Charlotte Mason friendly in my opinion, the lessons are short and to the point. The books have a gentle start and progression.  

The assignments are not overwhelming for the student (or for mom), but they are enough to get them thinking and writing.

I think that the Writing US History was my favorite book in the series. I like that it starts the students out with a picture and several key words, the student then has to go research based on the keywords given and write about their findings. For instance, one assignment shows a picture of the state of California, a man on horseback and 2 men panning for gold. The keywords for the assignment are 1849, Gold Discovered and California. Not only are they writing, but they are learning able the California Gold Rush.

Joyce Herzog is a veteran teacher that has many products helpful to homeschoolers. The TOS Crew
Members reviewed several of her products, click here to check out their reviews. 

The books that I have reviewed, as well as Joyce's other homeschool products are available directly through her web store.

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