Grammar, Homeschool, Language Arts

Institute for Excellence in Writing: Fix It! Grammar Level 4!

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew!

It is so great to be able to review the revised editions of Institute for Excellence in Writing Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan grades 6-8 and Fix-It Grammar Cards. If you missed my previous reviews of Level 2 Town Mouse and Country Mouse and Level 3 Robin Hood be sure to check out those reviews here. So let’s jump into Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan.

Just like levels 2 and 3 Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan received a revision. Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan also include:

  • Scope and sequence
  • Table Contents
  • Proofreed Marks
  • Vocabulary Chart
  • Grammar fixes checklist
  • Writing space

What I really love with Fix-It Grammar curriculums is they continue to build off of each level. So if your student has done the previous levels they will easily transition into the next level. Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan don’t disappoint it follows the same setup as the previous levels. Even though my son is still working his way through Level 2 Town Mouse and Country Mouse and will start Level 3 Robin Hood in the Fall, he was more than capable of completing the first few lessons in Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan, because it starts off in my opinion with a review and then it continues to build. With that being said my son has a solid foundation in grammar and is working his way through a rigorous spine grammar curriculum. I would recommend that you check out the scope of a sequence of Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan before selecting this level. I would also recommend that if your student has not worked in a Fix Grammar book you select the level below.

Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan builds on concepts taught in previous levels and presents a thorough explanation of additional punctuation rules, essential/nonessential clauses, complex sentence patterns, transitional prepositional openers, and more.

IEW

Level 4 Mowgli and Shere Khan follow the characters from Jungle Book. Okay, let me admit I had no idea who these characters were until my son told me. Once he told me I was like oh wow really I remember that movie. So the kids will read the sentences and then fix all the grammar, punctuation, and writing mechanics. Students also have daily vocabulary words to review, as well as rewrite the passage. Students complete one lesson per day which should take about 15 mins. The “Learn It” section which starts the week’s lesson off will review the concepts the student will be identifying over the course of the four-day lesson week. There are 30 weeks of lessons and I highly recommend you follow the daily schedule especially if you are using another language arts as your spine. In the back of the book, students will find the completed story and Fix-It Grammar, glossary, and more.

The Fix-It Grammar Cards are an excellent resource to use to help your student review the concepts and help them do the lessons. There are 30 durable colored cards that come complete with a digital list of games and activities. Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews by clicking the banner below.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Language Arts, Vocabulary, Writing

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

This homeschool year has been difficult choosing a language curriculum. I decided to go with the curriculum we had last year, but that was an epic fail. After 3 months of trying to find a new language arts program before our 2nd semester started, I ran across Royal Fireworks Press language arts curricula Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. The Melanated Gold Squad was offered the opportunity to review MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package and I was selected to review.

My son is newly turned 9 and he loves grammar, we noticed early on he was gifted in this area of his homeschool studies. Finding a grammar curriculum that was both rigorous and amusing has become arduous. This year alone we have set aside 3 curriculums and decided on multiple review books. Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town has been the curriculum we needed to feed his ferocious grammar inclinations.

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is for students ages 9-11 in grades 4-5. Grammar Town picks up where Grammar Island leaves off with the continued practice of the “4 grammar analysis of (1) parts of speech, (2) parts of the sentence, (3) phrases, and (4) clauses.” No worries if you haven’t done the previous level as long as your student has a strong understanding of grammar they will be alright with starting level 2, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping into level 3 without previously doing level 3. Even though the curriculum is presented for children who are gifted/dyslexic I have found that children who are able to read fluently and have strong reading comprehension will find this curriculum gratifying.

Level 2 : Grammar Town Layout

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is beautifully designed with simple distinctive vibrant illustrations. The curriculum covers 5 strands Grammar (Grammar Practice), Vocabulary, Writing, Poetics, and Literature. The complete homeschool package comes with a lesson guide, student books, and teacher’s manuals (this includes the readers) for each of the MCT sections. The program in my opinion is designed to be conversational. MCT is not like your typical language arts curriculums you will not find the typical question and answer busy work. The lessons are intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. I found myself relearning and grasping a better understanding of grammar. My son instantly took to the Grammar Town book, he repeatedly would point out how he better-understood grammar concepts.

There are 30 weekly lessons of MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town the lessons are designed to gradually include the other textbooks included in the MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package. Students should work at their own pace and make sure they have a complete mastery of the Grammar Town book before moving on to the next book. There are assessment pages in the books, but you can also download the assessment pages from a link provided by Royal Fireworks Press inside the book. The assessment pages are there to make sure your student is mastering the materials before moving on to the next section in the book. These assessment pages are not the same as Practice Town.

The very first-week students are to read the Grammar Town book on their own. I was amazed to see how intrigued my son was by the illustrations and the story. Several times he came to me and asked questions and wanted to discuss the stories. On the days we didn’t do lessons he requested MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his other language arts books.

Today lesson was intellectually restorative….Learning about the complexity of sentence structure and how all the the words we use in sentences are reflective of the 8 parts of speech that make a sentence cohesive. Thinking about it from that point of view makes sense into why a sentence must a have a subject and verb.

J

Caesar’s English is the vocabulary section students will embark on a historical language journey. Students will learn Latin roots, history, and word origins. Again students are exposed to wonderful visual and practice pages. Students will also see a brief intro to Latin roots in Grammar Town on the first pages. Practice Town includes 100 sentences of practice for students the skills learned in Grammar Town and writing. Paragraph Town is another fun-filled narrative of learning paragraph fundamentals and punctuation. The poetry book Building Poems is metaphoric it is written to teach students poetry terms as if they are constructing a building. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town includes the literature books:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • The Wind in the Willows

Each book is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael’s “language illustrations”—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies

Royal Fireworks Press

How We Used MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town

For the first 3 weeks, we used the curriculum as the implementation guide suggests. I made little tweaks here in there. My son was introduced to some Latin roots and I wrote these roots on index cards for him. I also wrote out grammar cards for him of all of the parts of speech components. We also put together a vocabulary journal for words we were instructed to define. My son enjoyed the assignments on select pages, some of these we did in his notebook and some we did on a dry erase board. The lessons are short we spent time in meaningful discussions.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town was used daily for the first 3 weeks and I added in some supplemental resources just to ensure mastery. After week 3 we went to a 3 day a week schedule and 2 days a week supplemental materials. I was sure to use supplemental material that would complement MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. Overall my son prefers MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his previous language arts curriculum and I have shelved what we were using prior. We are in week 6 of the suggested implementation lesson guide and have begun using Caesar’s English I, Classical Education Color Edition.

Wrap up

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is a rigorous and complete language arts program. If you are looking for a new way to introduced grammar to your student I highly recommend this curriculum. The curriculum does require parent involvement in my opinion wasn’t intense and I welcomed it. I enjoyed having conversations with him and seeing his face light up. The curriculum is designed for mastery and it is suggested you don’t move on until your student has mastered each section.

While the literature part I thought was going to be monotonous. I understand why the books were selected and remastered to complement the curriculum. I do hope in the future the company would consider adding some optional remastered diverse readers.

Would I buy Level 3 in the Fall absolutely! I again caution against not jumping into level 3 without going through level 2. You can get away with not doing Level 1, but making that jump into level 3 is not advisable. The levels don’t coordinate with the grade levels so please take note of this. If you are the type of homeschooler that needs tons of worksheets after each lesson this is not the curriculum for you. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is in a class by itself rigor without the complexity of busywork, this was more of relaxed conversational language arts. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town takes its time to ensure students really understand language and how they work together. I learned so much the last 6 weeks reviewing MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town .

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town works on this sequence per their website:

  1. Do grammar first.
  2. Begin the vocabulary text after you finish the parts of speech in the grammar book.
  3. Begin the practice book after the entire text of the grammar book is complete.
  4. Begin the writing text once four-level analysis is strong, as seen in the practice sentences.
  5. Begin the poetics text after the writing book is complete to develop expertise in controlling the sounds of sentences.
  6. Extend the curriculum with literature.

Royal Fireworks Press provides Overview Chart, Elementary Guide, and Secondary Guide on their website. There are seven levels to the MCT Language Arts program and there are also implementation videos.

The cost of MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package is $290 the company is also converting their books into Kindle format which may help you cut costs. This program is comprehensive and worth the cost. I highly recommend MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town if you are looking for a different way to teach language arts. Be sure to check out the other squad’s reviews of Royal Fireworks Press curriculums.

Until the Next,

Mom and J

1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Curriculum, dyslexia, Homeschool, Language Arts, Read Alouds, Reviews, spelling, Writing

LightSail for Homeschoolers Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

For the last few weeks, we have been using LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium Subscription. The crew was given given a 1-year online subscription to review. LightSail for Homeschoolers focuses on four areas Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and Fluency it also includes World Book.

LightSail for Homeschoolers program focuses on the 4 areas of literacy. Before students can venture into the program they are given an assessment to determine their Lexile level. The assessment is lengthy so I recommend breaking it up into 2 days. After the children finish the assessment you will see their score and you as a the parent can assign books for them to read that are on on that level or any level you would like. LightSail for Homeschoolers has excellent content security, I noticed that a lot of books I went to assign my student or I was just researching to add for him to read I had to grant permission for him to access.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading has a huge selection of literature, I was very pleased to see lots of culturally diverse materials and topics. My son has a major passion for the Negro Baseball League and we found several books, videos, and documentaries about the players that I created him a unit study so he could access them faster. Speaking of unit studies WOW this feature is fabulous, I was able to create unit studies for our science, history, and language arts lessons. The unit study feature allows you to assign the study to all the students or to individual students. The LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading provides:

  • Unit Studies, Booklist and Memory Work
  • Read-Alouds
  • Assessments
  • Augment Reality
  • Interactive Books
  • Videos
  • Parental Control

We really enjoyed the augmented reality section we were able to explore areas of the world and places. The LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading also helps you set reading goals, track your students data, reading badges, and much more.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Writing from what is reviewed is going to be a great program that will encourage your student to work on grammar skills, writing, journal, and write books. Parents will be able to assign writing assignments, grades and provided feedback to their students writing. At the time of this review, this section was not available.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Vocabulary is fabulous students can work on vocabulary building and spelling both of which we really need assistance in this area. Students will work on definitions and interactive activities. One of my absolute favorite sections is the Clozes in text, how can sing this practice praises. Several of the books in the library uses the clozes. The books the students read are missing words, and have interactive in-text activities. The students can’t move on in the book until they do the activities. The activities require the student to use comprehension, context clues and vocabulary skills to fill in the blanks.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Fluency will work on improving your students fluency, through read-alouds & re-telling, memory work, listening, speaking and writing.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and Fluency is an excellent language arts online platform. There is a lot of content in the LightSail for Homeschoolers , you will need to undergo a learning curve when using the platform. I highly recommend you watch all of the videos and take some time getting use to the platform. I am still learning the platform myself, several of the areas are still under development so you will not have access to all areas. The one thing I was very disappointed with is that this program will only work with Chrome and Edge. We are an Apple family and I had to download the Chrome browser on my iMac so I could manage the parent dashboard. My son also wasn’t a big fan that he couldn’t use this on his iPad and had to be stationary in front of his laptop. I would encourage the company to make this available on Safari and Firefox.

At the time of this review, the company offers a 7 day free trial, thereafter $99 for the LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium account. Be sure to check out the other crew’s reviews of LightSail for Homeschoolers by clicking the banner below.