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.
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
- 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.