Grammar Workbook ~ Review

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Grammar is not a favorite subject in our homeschool. To be honest we have put it off quite a bit. We normally stick with a grammar book through sentence structure, then we end up putting the book on the shelf and never look at it again. I think the problem with a lot of the books that we tried previously, was that they were too repetitive and AJ easily became frustrated.

The Grammar Workbook is a great way to teach your middle schooler grammar!

When we were given the opportunity to review the Grammar Workbook by Kimberly Garcia we were a bit torn. So many of her other products have worked very well for us, and we needed a new grammar program, but I was afraid this one would end up not working for us.

It turned out that the Grammar Workbook was a pretty good fit.

We received a 236 page digital copy of the Grammar Workbook. It is made up of 60 lessons that are divided into 86 exercises. The lessons are broken up into five sections.

  • The Sentence
  • The Eight Parts of Speech
  • Sentence Patterns
  • Clauses and Phrases
  • Punctuation

Lessons vary on length depending on the topic, but most follow the same model.

The lessons start with text about a new topic, followed by an exercise to practice what was learned. Sometimes a new topic if followed by more than one exercise. The exercises are full of variety. There are writing activities, fill in the blank activities, underlining activities, circling activities and more.

After a few new topics and exercises are completed there is a writing lesson. This part of the program is different that other grammar programs we have tried. The student is given a writing selection (a paragraph or more) that has elements that they learned in the previous lesson. They are instructed to study the model and then do one of four activities.

  • Copy it
  • Write it from dictation
  • Rewrite it, keeping the author’s style
  • Create a paragraph similar to the model

The student can decide to do one or more activities.

How we used the Grammar Workbook

We decided to take it slow. I had AJ work on grammar two to three days a week. Each time she did one exercise. I didn’t want to print out the entire book, so we would read through the lesson on the computer and then she would do the exercise. Sometimes I would print out the exercise, other times I would have her write or type out the answers. When she had to make up sentences I often had her give the answer out loud.

As of now she is only copying or writing the models from dictation.

What we thought of the Grammar Workbook

AJ doesn’t love it, but I don’t think she will ever enjoy grammar. She doesn’t see the need for grammar right now. When I asked her what would make it better, her only answer was that nothing could make grammar fun. That being said, she is using it and learning from it.

The lessons are well written and easy to understand. The book takes concepts in a step by step manner and builds off of them. Most days she is able to do the work independently. I feel (AJ disagrees) that the amount of questions for each exercise is perfect. There is enough practice but not too much.

One downfall to this book is the amount of writing. AJ is a reluctant writer so the amount of writing was a turnoff at first. As I explained above, we just did some exercises orally instead.

We both like the variety of exercises, it makes it nice that she doesn’t have to do the exact same thing daily. I think that this program will improve her grammar as she continues to use it.

It is the program that we decided to stick with for her 7th grade year. If you are looking for a well written Grammar Workbook that has a lot of variety this one may be for you.

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6th Grade Language Arts Recap

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I can’t believe AJ finished 6th grade this year. I saw a lot of growth in some areas, and hope for a few areas that she still is struggling with. Before I share our 7th grade curriculum plan, I want to share how her 6th grade year went.

I was blessed to join the School House Review Crew for the second half of our school year, so a lot of our plans changed, but I still think it was a wonderful year.

A recap of our 6th grade year - What worked and what didn't

6th Grade Reading

We didn’t use a premade 6th grade language arts program. The plan was to read 13 books, practice reading comprehension, literary elements, and gain a love of reading. To say I was over scheduling us is an understatement! AJ doesn’t like to read, but I was going to have her read 13 novels along with her other reading? We didn’t finish them all. She read:

In addition to those books she also had three from the Review Crew that she read.

She ended up reading 11 books in all. Most of them included book studies or lapbooks. We did a lot of comparison with movies and comparing different characters from the same author. I feel we really made progress with her reading this year. It has been a long road, but she no longer despises reading!

6th Grade Writing

Writing has been the most dreaded subject of all! But we had some big breakthroughs this year. Honestly for the first part of the year we didn’t focus on writing by itself. She wrote in every subject, but we didn’t practice writing. It brought tears, frustration, and irritability – and she didn’t like it either!

We focused on copywork quite a bit. It seemed to help with her spelling, penmanship, and writing. She started writing more on her own, but we needed more.

Thankfully, we were able to review a writing program from IEW. It was the perfect fit for AJ. She learned a lot from the lessons and seems to enjoy the writing process now!

6th Grade Grammar

The year started off with good intentions. I had a plan for grammar and this was going to be the year that we were strict with it. That didn’t happen. We finished the first 2 chapters in her grammar workbook and then took it in another direction. I figured she needed to understand writing before she tried to pick apart sentences.

She started working on Daily Grammar from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. It was a simple approach that AJ enjoyed. The best part was that it was quick. Once she finished the level she was working on though, we quickly realized she needed more practice before she could move to the next level.

We reviewed a few different grammar programs over the last few months and I think I have found a good fit for us in a Grammar Workbook from Brookdale House|A Homeschool Curriculum Publisher

6th Grade Spelling and Vocabulary

The first part of the year I pulled spelling and vocabulary words from our reading. It worked fine, but when I was able to review Spelling You See she really began to flourish. Her spelling has improved quite a bit and I notice her fixing mistakes before I point them out.

I feel we had a rocky start with language arts this year, but we ended strong. AJ has improved in all aspects on language arts, and I look forward to a great 7th grade year!

 

 

Free Adverb OR Adjective Printable

Welcome to day 8 of my 30 days of FREE Printables! Today I am sharing a simple grammar worksheet. I shared yesterday how AJ has a hard time with adverbs. She seems to think that any word that ends in”ly” is automatically an adverb. To help her understand that some “ly” words are adjectives, and that a lot of adverbs have other endings, I created this worksheet for her.

There are two different versions of the worksheet. The first has a list of 25 words that needs to be cut out and sorted, the second has a word box and the student writes the words in the correct category.

Download your Free Adverb OR Adjective Printable! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a science printable.

Adverb Worksheet

Post Contains Affiliate Links Adverbs are a hard part of speech to learn. They can modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and even complete sentences! They are one part of speech that AJ had a little problem picking out in sentences. I created a simple worksheet where she had to list the different adverbs under the correct type. It seemed to help her out a lot. Free Adverb Sorting worksheet - part of 30 days of FREE printablesWe also used a few other fun resources to help her grasp the concept of adverbs. One of our favorite things was the memorable song, “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get your Adverb On” from School House Rock! Grab your FREE Adverb Worksheet today, and come back tomorrow for another free printable!

Humpty Dumpty Printable Pack

Welcome to day 6 of the 30 days of free printables! Today I am sharing a printable pack based on the cute nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty. In this pack you will find copy work, a fill in the blank story, past tense verb practice, sequencing, and math word problems. This set was made with younger elementary kids in mind. I hope you enjoy it!

Grab your FREE Humpty Dumpty Printable Pack! Day 6 of 30 days of FREE Printables.

Download your Humpty Dumpty Printable Pack today and come back tomorrow for another FREE printable.

Free Fantastic Mr. Fox Study

Post Contains Affiliate LinksOne of the many books we have read this year was Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. We read it as part of a unit study about Roald Dahl. We ended up reading four of his books and comparing his writings and the types of characters in his books. I was able to find free studies for all of the books except for Fantastic Mr. Fox, so I made one myself. AJ enjoyed the book and the study. She even enjoyed the movie even though it was nothing like the book.

Grab your FREE Fantastic Mr. Fox Literature Study, part of the 30 days f FREE Printables!

I hope you enjoy our day 5 of Free Printables the Fantastic Mr. Fox literature study. Remember t come back tomorrow for another free printable!

Free Printables for 30 Days

acToday is my birthday and I am turning the big 30. Today I will be at Downtown Disney with my best friend pin trading and window shopping. We don’t get to spend much time together, so I am extremely excited!

To Celebrate My 30th Birthday, I am posting a Free Printable every day for 30 days!

 

In honor of my birthday, I would like to give you all a gift. Since I am turning 30 I have decided to have a new printable everyday for 30 days, starting today! You don’t have to sign up for my newsletter or anything, although I would love if you did. Just a gift from me to you as a thank you for being a reader.

Each day will be a surprise. I have some math worksheets, science, literature studies, and just for fun pages. Some of them have already been made, but others are in progress. Most of them will be for older elementary students, but some will work for older and younger kids as well.

Do you have a topic that you would like a worksheet for? Tell me in the comments, and if it is something that I can work with, I may make it.

Now for today’s free printable………

Day  1 is Prime Panda!

A fun Free Worksheet that focuses on prime and composite numbers.

This fun worksheet takes coloring by number to the next step. It focuses on prime and composite numbers. It includes two different worksheets, one for younger kids that is a simple color by number type, and one for older kids where they have to solve equations and then color by number.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download your copy of  Prime Panda. Please do not share the link to the PDF, feel free to share this post where anyone can download their own copy.

Have a great day, and come back tomorrow for another free printable.

Find the days that have posted so far below.

Day 2 – Hey Diddle Diddle Pack

Day 3 – Butterfly

Day 4 – Temperature

Day 5 – Fantastic Mr. Fox

Day 6 – Humpty Dumpty

Day 7 – Adverbs

Day 8 – Adverbs or Adjectives

Day 9 – Memorial Day

Day 10 – Parts of Speech

Day 11 – Spelling Practice

Day 12 – Medication Check off List

Day 13 – Brain Break Cards

Day 14 – Telling Time

Day 15 – Multiplication

Day 16 – Pippi Longstocking

Day 17 – American Flag

Day 18 – Fractions

Day 19 – Books of the Bible

Day 20 – Old Testament Puzzles

Day 21 – Old Testament Puzzles Part 2

Day 22 – Sudoku

Day 23 – Sudoku

Day 24 – Northeastern States

Day 25 – Southern States

Day 26 – Super Hero Writing Prompts

Day 27 – Rocky Mountain States

Day 28 – Southwestern States

Day 29 – Pacific Coast States

Day 30 – Midwestern States

 


Carnival of Homeschooling

Spelling You See – Review

I am a bad speller. There is no easy way to explain how spelling and the millions of rules frustrate me. I could pass most spelling tests with out a problem, but a week later I wouldn’t be able to spell any of the words. I still struggle horribly as an adult. Unfortunately, AJ is just as bad of a speller as I am. We have tried quite a few different ways of working on spelling. We tried memorizing lists, playing games, and copy work. Each thing helped a little bit, but she needed more.

Spelling You See - A program my child enjoys and is learning from!

Thankfully we were given the chance to review a new product from Spelling You See, Spelling You See: Ancient Achievements Level F. We received the Student Workbook Part 1, Student Workbook Part 2, the Instructor’s Handbook, and a package of erasable colored pencils. We were excited to get started.

What is Spelling You See: Ancient Achievements?

Ancient Achievements is level F in the series and is the last book for kids who are in the “skill development stage” of spelling. Spelling You See takes a completely different approach than most spelling programs. There are no lists of words to memorize, and there are no tests. Spelling You See isn’t based on grade or age level, it is based on spelling ability. I highly recommend reading all about Spelling You See’s Spelling Philosophy. I found it very eye opening and thought that it explained exactly why both AJ and I have such difficulty with spelling.

If there are no spelling lists, how does it work?

On the first day of the week your student reads a passage. Ancient Achievements has selections about all kinds of different things from Ancient History. Some of the passages AJ has worked on include; cave paintings, cuneiform, and mummies.

After reading the passage the student goes through and chunks parts of the words by boxing them in with an assigned color. AJ used the colored pencils that came with the program, but you could also use highlighters.  On each page the types of chunks they need to look for are listed. In the beginning of the book it starts with just vowel chunks, then it goes onto consonant chunks. Further into the book they are introduced to bossy r chunks, ending chunks, silent letters, and the tricky Y guy.

By chunking the words, kids can see how they are spelled. Spelling You See.

This is one of the pages where she was working on vowel and constant chunks.

After reading and chunking the passage your student then copies a portion of the passage and chunks it. The copying portion is limited to 10 minutes.

They continue with the same routine on the same passage for the first three days of the week. Day three has an additional feature called Spotlight. In this section a little bit more about words is explained. In the teacher’s guide there are optional activities to practice the topic that the Spotlight is focusing on. Some of the topics we have come across so far are; rhyming words, root words, and different Latin root meanings.

On day 4 they read and chunk the passage, but instead of copying it, they write it from dictation. On day four you are able to help them if needed. After 10 minutes the dictation is stopped and they count how many words they got right.

Spelling You See - The perfect program for my struggling speller!

Dictation from Spelling You See

Day 5 is similar to day 4 except this time you don’t help at all with the dictation. The next week they move onto a different passage and the process begins again.

The teacher’s guide is necessary for the program. It has the passages for dictation, the correct chunking patterns, and ideas for the Spotlight section.

How did we use it?

We do school four days a week, so I was a little bit unsure of how to work the program. We decided to start in the middle of the week and just did the next day’s work each day. It worked out really well.

On the first day I read the passage to AJ and then she read it to me. We took it line by line and she chunked the passage as we went. I had the teacher’s guide open so that I could make sure she found all of the words that needed to be chunked. Then I set the timer and had her copy the passage. I was expecting a fight since she hates to write, but it went very well. Our biggest issue was that after the 10 minutes was up, she wasn’t finished writing. She didn’t like leaving the page partway unfinished so she finished it anyways.

Chunking with Spelling You See - Helpful for the visual learner!

After the first week we decided to get rid of the timer and just let her work until she was finished. Most days it took her about fifteen minutes to finish copying everything.

The second and third day she did mainly on her own other than reading the passage to me. The first day of dictation was the most difficult for AJ, because of one rule, no erasing. The student isn’t aloud to erase during the dictation, instead they are to cross off the word that is spelled wrong. It took a little bit to get use to, but now she knows she can’t erase. On the 5th day I would dictate the passage to her again and she would see if she could get more words correct on the second dictation.

What do we think?

When the books came in the mail I was sure that I would love the program. I wasn’t expecting AJ to love it too! She completes the spelling each day without an issue, but the best part is that I am seeing the skills transfer over to her other writing. When she is writing a word and needs me to spell it she often asks if it has any chunks in it. I have also noticed that she is remembering the words she is working on each week . The other day she was working on history and remembered how to spell archeologist, and that was a word she wrote a few weeks ago!

The only thing we didn’t like was the amount of room given to copy the passage. AJ has large handwriting and found it difficult to fit all of the words on the line. Surprisingly, after the first week, she started writing smaller and was able to fit everything in.

Overall she enjoys it, she is learning from it, and it is helping her to become more confidant. She enjoys the passages, and most of all enjoys the chunking. To her trying to find all of the chunks was like a puzzle. This is a program that I plan to stick with. I would recommend Spelling You See to anyone who has a child who is struggling with spelling, for us it is the perfect fit!

Spelling You See Review
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Free Fun With Words Packet

Free Fun With Words Packet - 10 activities to focus on spelling and critical thinking skills

Don’t you just love Spring? The weather is nicer, the birds are chirping, and the flowers are blooming. I put together this Fun with Words packet that is all about Spring. It contains 10 different activities all focused around a set of 20 spring words. Some of the activities are designed to help with spelling, others help with vocabulary, and a few help with critical thinking skills. To get your free packet, subscribe to our News Letter. In the News Letter you will receive our latest posts, deals, giveaways and freebies. Sign up below!

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First Day of 6th Grade

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I can’t believe that AJ is in 6th grade this year. She has grown so much over the last few years and I am excited to start the new year. My favorite year of school was 6th grade, I had an amazing teacher and learned so much. If she was going to public school, AJ would be in middle school this year. The school she would go to is the same one I went to for the first part of 7th grade,(I was lucky enough to be accepted to a prep school after the first quarter) and it was a rough place way back then. I am so glad she will not have to go to that school!

AJ started the morning off with a shower and then got to work on her chores. She has to make her bed, get dressed, put dishes away, bring up the trash cans, feed the dog, and help make sure everything of hers is put away .

For her first day of school I got up early and made a good breakfast. We had homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon, a banana, and orange juice. It was a good start to the day.

Breakfast was just the two of us, and then I woke up Grandma and got her dressed while AJ started on her Language Arts book.
We had a few minutes before we had to leave so I reviewed fraction operations with AJ and made sure she understood how to do all of her grammar.
Then we took Grandma to her doctor appointment. Usually her appointments are quick, but today it took forever. AJ was suppose to finish her grammar and math work while she was in the waiting room, but she didn’t. She watched the tv in the waiting room instead. She wasn’t too happy when she found out that she would have to work on her math and grammar during her free time, but hopefully she will do her work next time.
When we finally got back home we had a quick lunch and then she started on literature.  I created a literature study for the book she is reading, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. She started by looking up vocabulary and then she read the first 2 chapters. So far she is enjoying the book.
After literature she should have had free time while I went to the dentist, but she had to do her grammar and math. The dentist should have been a quick trip, just two simple fillings, but it took almost 2 hours.
On the way home from the dentist I stopped by my favorite store, Fresh and Easy. I love this store! The prices are great, and the food is fresh. The best part is that I am able to find so many things that are corn free.
I went back home expecting to find AJ, but she was mistakenly taken to gymnastics. During the summer she went to gymnastics everyday, but now that summer is over she goes back to her normal days. Having her gone for those 2 hours really messed up my schedule because we were going to work on science.
When she got home we worked on her Bible curriculum and then had dinner. After our busy day I decided to skip science and work on it another time.
Our day was long and we didn’t accomplish everything, but we will make it up later in the week. I think overall it was a good first day.
How did your day go?

A Day in Our Homeschool