Finding the best homeschool curriculum for your family is not an easy task. I have found myself searching through websites, curriculum magazines, convention booths, and even friends shelves to find just the right one that will work for him (or her). This is because there are so many styles of learning, styles of teaching, and styles of books.

There are workbooks, unit studies, curriculum's in a box, textbooks, and any combination of them. There's traditional, classical, secular, christian.. . . . my mind spins as I even think of what to type. We have tried most styles and have found a couple that have worked for us for certain subjects, but I'm still always looking for the rest.

One of the styles that I have not really looked at before, except science, is a textbook. Growing up I went to public school. There, of course, everything was from a textbook Because I am not a fan of public school, anything associated with it tends to make me cringe - thus, textbooks do, too. 

However, I have been introduced to a textbook style curriculum through the Schoolhouse Review Crew that turns my frown upside down ; - ) It's Reading Street grade 6 from Pearson Homeschool
Pearson's Reading Street are textbooks but it offers so much more than just instruction. There's interesting stories, thought provoking suggestions, learning tips, and much more. Within each weekly lesson, there are vocabulary words, writing ideas, games, lessons, & connections to the other lessons learned. Reading Street is really so much more than just reading - it's language arts combined into one format. 
We received Reading Street grade 6. I thought this would be a great way to wrap up the end of my son's 6th grade and lead him into 7th. He has typically been a reluctant/struggling reader. He has improved incredibly but we plan on working through the summer to increase his skills & this review came at a perfect time for our family. The Lord always knows our needs!

When we received our package, I opened it right up to look at the textbooks, anticipating that old public school feeling. I was pleasantly surprised that the books really are nothing like the ones I remember from school. Like I said above, there is so much more and they are actually fun, or can be, if used in that manner.

There are 2 textbooks for 6th grade. Each are vibrantly illustrated with bright colors and sketches & pleasing to view. Not that old black and white typeset that I was used to in school. Each book starts out with a Visual Skills Handbook & a Visual Strategies Handbook. These "handbooks" offer picture lessons of things like cause & effect, fact & opinion, library, inferring, predict & set purpose, and questioning. This allows the student to see the lesson. It's nice.

I was very interested in the books that were chosen for the students to read as well as the activities that were given. Each story is an excerpt from a classical story that most of us parents will recognize, like Old Yeller and The Chimpanzees I love. Throughout the stories, there are vocabulary words highlighted so the student will see them in context. This is a very good learning tool. There are historical lessons the students will learn, too. Black Frontiers by Lillian Schlissel is one such story that offers a history lesson.

Not only do you get the textbooks, you will also get a Teachers Resource DVD that help you plan your student's lessons, print worksheets, games, quizzes and more. This DVD came in handy for me. Looking at the textbook alone I kind of said "huh?", because I wasn't sure exactly what to do. I wondered where to start and how to best utilize this great book. The Teacher's Resource DVD saved me : - ) It gave me ideas to use.

There is also an ExamView Assessment Suite DVD. With this DVD, you can create exams for each lesson. You can choose from a pre-created exam or customize for your child. This is a nice tool, too. 

Lastly, with the package, comes Guide On The Side. This is a handy dandy guide book that walks the teacher through effective literacy instruction. "It provides a framework of routines and example activities that include mini-lessons, a writing workshop, and guidance for assessing and monitoring your child's progress." It is comprehensive and thorough. Navigating through it, for me, was involved, and takes time. This is not a resource to just look at on a wim

So what do you get in the 6th Grade Reading Street package? You get
  • Student Editions (2 volumes)
  • Teacher Resource DVD ROM
  • ExamView CD (for creating tests)
  • Guide on the Side Instruction Booklet
  • Parent Guide

The price for this entire package is $124.99. It can be your complete language arts curriculum for 6th grade. Reading Street has curriculum for students grade 3-6. There are also other resources available including math, science, and social studies.
Disclaimer: I received these products free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew  with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after using them. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.


08/15/2012 18:58

Thanks for reviewing our Pearson Homeschool product and posting such great things. Feel free to follow us on our new Facebook account.


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