Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Comprehensive Language Arts Curriculum from The Critical Thinking Co.™ {A TOS Review}

I had the pleasure of reviewing Language Smarts™ Level E from The Critical Thinking Co.™ with Tabitha. I wasn't sure exactly what language arts curriculum I was going to use for her this year, but when the opportunity arose for this review, I jumped at the chance. The Language Smarts Level E book can be used as a complete curriculum or a supplemental resource for 4th grade. It is available in print or eBook format. 

I was quite impressed when we received Language Smarts Level E in the mail. This is a 400 page book with a wide variety of language arts topics being taught.  After the 8-page introduction section, which shares thoughts about the book and the author, along with information about Standards that are met, we get into the main portion of the book, which is 392 pages long.

The lessons and activities are broken into the following topics:
  • Syllables
  • Word Parts
  • Word Relationships
  • Spelling
  • Reference Materials
  • Parts of Speech
  • Sentences
  • Punctuation
  • Using Words Correctly 
  • Reading and Writing
  • Writing
And there are several "Editor in Chief" and "Writing Detective" activities interspersed between the lessons that help to review the lessons that have just been completed. 

These topics vary in length, with as few as 5 pages, to as many as 84, though the remainder range from 12 to 60 pages each. Each of the topics have varying numbers of subtopics. For example in Word Parts we will be looking at Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots, and in Punctuation we will be looking at End Punctuation, Commas, Quotation Marks, Colons, and Semi-Colons. Several of these topics have so many subtopics I can not really list them all here. Let me just give you an idea of what a child will be learning. In Parts of Speech the student will be looking at Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, and more. In Sentences a child will learn about Subjects, Predicates, Compound Sentences, Fragments and more. The Reading and Writing lessons will have the student looking at similes, idioms, point of view, poems, and more. 

As you can see, there are a wide variety of lessons in this book.

The last 29 pages in the workbook contain the Answer Key. No, I have not let Tabitha know it is there. I allow her to work independently on her lessons, and I don't want her to get tempted to check the answers.

Let's take a look at some of the lessons.

First of all, the majority of the lessons begin with a red outlined box at the top of the page, where rules and definitions of new words are found, along with examples illustrating the ideas. Then there are questions or activities for the child to  complete. The instructions are highlighted in yellow, which I really appreciated. 

Here are some of the lessons Tabitha has been working on. I decided to have her work on different topics each day of the week. So she would work in Syllables and Word Parts one day, Parts of Speech another day, Sentences the next day, and Punctuation the fourth day of the week. I have also had her work in Reading Comprehension to change things up.

A child has to use critical thinking skills to be able to figure out some answers. They are given the main information they need to know for the prefixes (for example), and then have to really think things through at times to come up with the answers. 

Even though she is working on different sections of the book each day of the week, I do have her go through each section in order. So, we have started the Parts of Speech section with nouns.

After she finished figuring out each of the words, she was to write 3 sentences, each of which had to use one word from each column. 

The Sentences section began with lessons on simple and complex subjects and predicates. It took a bit for Tabitha to figure this out, but she eventually understood it. I think I will have to write some more examples for her so she can have some practice. 

Here's a look at one of the Reading Comprehension stories.

I love the wide variety of lessons in this book. There are fill in the blanks, underlining, word searches, writing sentences and more. With the reading comprehension section the child will have multiple choice problems. 

We didn't get into the Writing section, but I plan to work on that later in the year. Tabitha will learn to plan and do prewriting skills using such things as story maps. She will learn to revise and edit. Then she will write final copies. 

This is truly a comprehensive language arts curriculum and one I highly recommend. Both the physical paperback version and the eBook can be purchased for $42.99. They also have levels B,C and D for grades 1, 2 and 3. 

You can find The Critical Thinking Co.™ on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

Don't forget to check out the review from my fellow Crew Mates. In addition to the Language Smarts E book, we had the choice of another book, Sentence Diagramming: Beginning (which was quite tempting) and several software downloads for younger children.

The Critical Thinking Co.™ explains the Importance of Preschool Academics and suggests a software bundle to get them started. Some of the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed software from the Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™ bundle.

Alphabet Song Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download
Letter Sounds Song and Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download
Vowel Sounds Song and Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download
Fun-Time Phonics!™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}
Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love to read your comments, so please leave me one if you have the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails