Monday, June 25, 2018

Hake Publishing (A Homeschool Crew Review)

I'm not one to know where to start when teaching grammar. I know what nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives, but outside of those basics, I don't really know how to teach grammar to my kids.

 Luckily, Hake Publishing has taken the confusion out of teaching grammar and made it as simple as opening a book to the next lesson  with their brand new Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum. 

About Grammar and Writing 3

Grammar and Writing 3 is the first set of books in the Grammar and Writing series designed for students grades 3 through 8th.   Each book teaches English grammar, writing, punctuation, spelling rules and vocabulary development.  (Click to view Scope and Sequence
Written by Mary Hake and Christie Curtis, the Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum consists of three components:

Consumable Workbook - Printed on Newsprint style paper, this softback 488 page book contains all the text, examples and questions needed for all 111 lessons as well as a ten page index for looking up particular lesson topics. Lessons consist of 3-4 pages each.

Writing Workbook - 92 page softback book contains 21 writing exercises that build upon what the
student has learned from the lesson in the workbook.  Each writing lesson is designed to be done on the days that students are tested over what they have learned.  Lessons focus on teaching students how to write a paragraph before moving on to writing a persuasive essay, informative (expository) essay, a personal narrative, a descriptive essay and a chapter summary.  This workbook has perforated pages and comes pre-punched for a three ring binder.

Teacher's Guide with Answer Keys and Tests - Roughly 400 pages in length, this softback book, printed on newsprint style paper contains teachers instructions (including narrative script), answer key for all lessons in the textbook as well as for activities in the Writing Workbook, test masters (including answer keys) for 22 tests that can be copied for student use, and 31 addition Practice worksheets (and answer keys) that can also be copied for student use.  This book also contains perforated pages and three hole punched.

How We Have Used It

For this review, I used Grammar and Writing 3 strictly with Garrett.  While technically a fourth grade student, language arts has always been a struggle for Garrett and he tends to be a bit behind in that particular subject.  This third grade level course has been perfect for him, both with his reading level and in the length and depth of the lessons.  We ended up using this curriculum three times a week (on M-W-F) so that he could use it in conjunction with the reading program that he likes.

When Garrett found out he would be doing another language arts curriculum, he was NOT happy. Especially when he first saw the student workbook. There are no cute pictures or color graphics - the pages are just straight black text on paper.  No graphics, no clip art, just words.

I honestly thought he was going to have a complete meltdown right then and there.  He pretty much did..  However, I talked him into doing a lesson with me.  I showed him that the lesson wasn't that that long and that there wasn't a whole lot of writing involved.  "Just give it a chance," I pleaded with him. And he did, begrudgingly. After Lesson 1 was completed, he looked at me and said "You know, that wasn't so bad".

Garrett working his way through Lesson 1
We have not had any issues with getting Garrett to do his lesson with Grammar and Writing 3.

Garrett enjoys working on this curriculum in the quite of my bedroom
Garrett has come to enjoy doing this particular curriculum later in the evening, while laying on my bed. Typically, he grabs the book and tells me it's time for his lesson and this has become our special school time.   Since he does it separately from his sister,  it seems easier for him to wind down before he completes his lesson, allowing him to focus on what he'd reading and doing.

The real test of any curriculum, however, is whether or not the material that they are learning sticks with them. Can they recall what they learned in previous lessons?  This particular curriculum continuously reviews the information from previous lessons, asking the child to recall it with each lesson. Then after roughly every 5 lessons, the student takes a test over all the past lessons. I say roughly because the first test is after lesson 10, and the final two tests follow lessons 110 and 111.  These tests are found in the back of the teacher's manual and can be copied to give to the student, as well as extra practice worksheets to use following particular lessons.  Garrett has scored very high on the tests he has taken so far, proving that the format of learning and reviewing has worked well for him.

Garrett working his way through one of his tests
The third component of the Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum is the Writing Workbook.  This is a thinner workbook that consists of 21 Lessons that coincide with the 21 tests.  On the same day the student tests over the material, they should also complete the lesson in the Writing Workbook for that day.  A schedule in the front of the Teacher's Guide reminds the parent which lesson follows the test.

I originally was not sure how Garrett was going to react to the Writing Workbook.  Garrett hates to write, even more than he hates to read, although, he has gotten better with both since starting our reading curriculum.

Garrett does have a bit of an issue with staying focused on task with the Writing Workbook but doesn't seem to mind the actual assignments.  Luckily, both the tests and the writing lessons are fairly short, at least as far as we have gotten in the book and Garrett hasn't objected to anything asked of him. 

In conclusion, I have really enjoyed adding Grammar and Writing 3 to Garrett's language arts curriculum.  He seems to be learning much more in just a short period of time of using it then he has with other curriculum that we have used in the past, making it a winner in my book. 

#hsreviews #grammar #languagearts

For more information about Hake Publishing and their Grammar and Writing curriculum, including Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 , be sure to visit their website.

Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {Hake Publishing Reviews} 

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