Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Language Smarts Level E (A Homeschool Crew Review)

We had the opportunity to review the physical copy of the Language Smarts™ Level E   workbook from The Critical Thinking Co.™.  A digital download of this workbook is also available from The Critical Thinking Co. website.

Language Arts Level E can be used as a complete curriculum or as a supplement to be used with Grade 4 students.  The softback workbook is 392 pages designed to improve reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and thinking skills through various activities.  From starting with the basics such as recognizing the amount of syllables in a given word to progressing to writing three different style papers (Personal Narratives, Opinion and Informative writing), Language Arts Level E seamlessly progresses through all points in between while covering important skills such as parts of speech, punctuation, reading skills, and sentence structure. The workbook covers all grammar concepts that are expected to be known by fourth graders, as well as also including some skills that are taught in fifth grade. Each activity starts with a quick explanation of the concept being taught as well as demonstrate the concept in easy to understand examples in well marked charts.  Everything needed is included and easy to follow, making preparation for each lesson simple.

Specifically, the Level E workbook covers the following topics:
    • Capitalization        • Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots
    • Critical Thinking        • Silent E
    • Compare/Contrast        • Singular/Plural
    • Imply/Infer        • Syllables
    • Inference        • Usage
    • Opinion        • Homographs
    • Prediction        • Homophones
    • Adjectives        • Metaphors
    • Adverbs        • Sequencing
    • Antonyms        • Similes
    • Conjunctions        • Writing
    • Interjections        • Characters
    • Nouns        • Comparing
    • Prepositions        • Conflict
    • Pronouns        • Context Clues
    • Sentences        • Drama
    • Subject and Predicate        • Editing
    • Subject-Verb Agreement        • Fiction and Nonfiction
    • Synonyms        • Idioms
    • Verbs        • Parts of a Book
    • Grammar        • Plot
    • Punctuation        • Poems
    • Colons        • Proverbs
    • Commas        • Reference Materials
    • Exclamation Marks        • Setting
    • Periods        • Story Maps
    • Question Marks        • Table of Contents
    • Quotation Marks        • Titles
    • Semicolons        • Topic and Main Idea
    • Spelling        • Using a Dictionary
    • Compound Words

I was a bit apprehensive originally about whether or not my kids would be able to use this workbook or not before selecting this particular book for reviewing. Fortunately, The Critical Thinking Co. has sample pages for their products which allowed me to have a better idea of how the workbook was laid out.  This allowed me to judge much easier whether or not the material would be something my kids would be able to handle.  Even thought my children are both third grade, these sample pages allowed for me to determine that this workbook would be something I could easily use with them based on their learning level.  

One of the first things I absolutely love about this workbook is the reproduction agreement that the Critical Thinking Co. allows with their printed materials.  The Critical Thinking Co. allows for families who purchase their workbooks to make copies for other students in their family.  This is always something I love to see from companies and can be a "make or break" when I'm making decisions on curriculum as it tends to offset the cost of a more pricey curriculum (in this case, $42.99 for this particular workbook).  Since both Ash and Garrett use the same curriculum, if I am able to make copies of the material instead of having to buy two separate workbooks, that's always a plus for me. 

Another thing that I really like about this book is that there's a wonderful Table of Contents that allows for me to find exactly what I need to print out.  If we're discussing Adverbs, I can quickly find Adverbs in the table of contents and see which pages apply to that topic so that I can quickly turn to those particular pages and print them out for the kids.  This is extremely helpful when dealing with a hefty 392 page workbook.  Anything that saves time makes a huge difference in our homeschool. 

In addition to the Table of Contents, the end of the workbook includes the Answer Key for every activity in the book.  There's nothing more annoying then to purchase a pricey workbook and have to purchase a separate answer key booklet (that might cost 10 to 20 dollars more) to be able to grade the activities. 

So far, I have used this book as a supplement to our current English/Grammar curriculum.  However, as impressed as I have been with the activities in the book, I've been giving serious consideration to instead begin to use this workbook as our full time curriculum after the holidays are over.

#hsreviews #criticalthinking #languagearts

To learn more about The Critical Thinking Co. and their large array of educational material, be sure to visit their website or one of their various social media sites:

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

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