Monday, June 10, 2019

Simply Classical Writing - Step-by-Step Sentences: A Memoria Press Review

Our educational system is very compartmentalized simply because it is easier to evaluate that way.  Students are divided into grades and sorted by scores.  The reality of learning and development is that two people will never grow at the exact same rate in the same way.  We as parents get caught into the milestone game from day one where delay is bad word and a different approach is automatically called therapy.  We let other people's labels and schedules push us into corners that usually don't help and borderline hurt students.  This may seem like an odd introduction to a couple of writing books, but Memoria Press's books: Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) and Simply Classical Writing Book Two: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) with Teacher Key, taught me a very important lesson about the skewed perspective we are so often taught.  


When these books first arrived in the mail, I noticed Memoria Press Special-Needs at the top and immediately started worrying there had been a mistake.  My kids are not classified as special needs so I was afraid that I had misread something and committed to this review as if they were.  Turns out, Memoria Press offers books like this that simply go at a slower pace and break down the subject into smaller chunks than traditional methods might.  This approach seems very appropriate for those with learning difficulties, but what surprised me was how spot on this approach was for my son whose only learning disability is his gender! Ha!  My son loves to read and is great at the things he loves, like the piano and baseball and soccer and cooking.  Do you see a pattern? He loves things that comes naturally to him and he can accomplish them without hesitation!  Things like long division or writing more than a sentence or two are hard because they take time.  



So, while he is not behind or having a difficult time with his grade level work, he does drag his feet a lot in certain areas, sentence writing being one of them.  As it turns out, this gradual " Step-by-Step" process is exactly what a boy full of boundless energy can get behind!


What We Received:
We received 3 books in all: 
Teacher Key corresponding to the above Book Two

How They Work:
Each lesson has a theme taken from a passage of scripture where various skills are then practiced using words and phrases from that story.  Both books work towards improving students writing skills through combining copywork, grammar, composition, and artistic expression.  There is a large focus on rules about sentences in the beginning of the books that gets reinforced throughout the lessons. The Teacher Key provides all answers and  some nice resources in the Appendix like a template for extra practice, a theme outline of the entire scripture scope of the book and a certificate of merit.


How We Used It:
The intended grade level of this set is 1st-3rd grade, which happens to be where my kids are at so I was able to begin using both books.  My daughter (almost 6) has started first grade work so Book One was right on target for level.  My son (8 1/2) is about halfway through 3rd grade, but often loathes sentence writing perked right up and never complained when we started him in Book Two.  In the Teacher Notes it has a variety of teaching schedules, but we chose the One-Day Schedule where you cover the entire lesson in one day.  The reason for this was simply because they kids wanted to continue working in the books because they enjoyed it. Made my decision easy with that kind of attitude!


Since our society categorizes children so automatically, it becomes a negative thing to consider them to be in a transitional place academically.  The truth is, though, they are always in some kind of transition.  Just because we say 2nd grade ends on May 31st and 3rd grade begins on August 15th does not mean their education is somehow still.  Learning is always transitional and finding resources that honor that reality is a huge blessing! 
 


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Memoria Press contributes significantly to the homeschool curriculum community and the crew reviewed several of their products including Spelling and History.  Click on the link below to find out what the other texts are like and how families used them!

Classical Writing & Spelling, American History & Jewish Wars {Memoria Press Reviews}
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