Sunday, May 19, 2013

Joyce Herzog {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Do you have any budding authors in your home? I do; at least a couple, I think. Recently we received the Budding Authors workbooks, as well as 6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar, by Joyce Herzog.

Dr. Joyce Herzog is a certified teacher with an endorsement in Learning Disabilities. She taught elementary and learning disabled students for 25 years in public and private schools. She also speaks at homeschool conventions.

Dr. Herzog has authored and published several educational materials including The Scaredy Cat Reading System, Luke’s Lists, Learning in Spite of Labels, Choosing and Using Curriculum, and many others.

The Budding Authors series is to help develop writing skill step by step, from writing a simple sentence to learning research skills in writing about a person or a period in history.

We received:
Step Into Writing, $10.00
Step On Into Writing, $10.00
Adventures in Writing, $10.00
Then and Now, $12.00
Writing U.S. History, $15.00
6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar, $12.00

The Budding Author series can be used along with the Scaredy Cat Reading System, or alone.

Step Into Writing provides the first steps in to writing for beginning readers, working with short vowel words and sight words. It uses pages of three types of writing: copywork; dictation, using a simple story; and the "experience story," in which the student tells a story and someone else writes it down so the child can "read" it back. The pages are CPS pages, where Capitalization, Punctuation, and Spelling can be checked. (Sample pages)

Step On Into Writing continues with the the same format, but adds in "Write Your Own Story" pages. It also contains a three-page dictionary at the front. (Sample pages)

Adventures in Writing moves on to having the student look at the picture, answer some provided questions about the picture, and use words in the word box, to write his or her own story. (Sample pages)

Then and Now has the student comparing life now to what it was around 100 years ago. To do this, they look at the illustration, and answer the questions about that picture, then they are to write at least a couple paragraphs. This will help them learn to appreciate the conveniences we have today, perhaps. (Sample pages)

Writing U.S. History introduces research skills, expands writing skills, and helps your student learn U.S. History in depth. Each page contains an illustration, and a few words or phrases to help your student get started. But he will have to do some research before he can begin writing his paragraphs. (Sample pages)

6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar will teach you or your teen student to better understand grammar concepts. It covers parts of a sentence, parts of speech, types of sentences, punctuation rules, spelling rules, verbs, etc. (Sample pages)

I find all of the illustrations in each of the books charming. They are old fashioned, wholesome pictures.

When I was first looking this over, I thought I'd be using the Writing U.S. History book with Botanist Boy, because he's really in to writing right now, and I thought this would give him practice in researching a topic. He took one look at it, and balked. So, I backed him up, to the Adventures in Writing book instead.

He was to look at the illustration, answer the questions about the picture, then write a couple paragraphs. There are word boxes: one with simpler words for younger students, and one with more difficult words for older students.

There are options of how these word boxes could be utilized: he could use all of the words in his set of words, use just a few of them, or had to avoid using any of the words from the other set.

That boy; he just didn't have the reaction to this that I'd hoped for. He enjoys writing, but obviously only if it's his own idea, and about what he wants to write. So, when he finally would get around to doing a page, he'd just "breeze through it," like he was just trying to "get it over with." <sigh>

Now, Little Bit's reaction was a little different. I started him at the beginning. He loves copywork, and that part became is favorite to do.
Dictation page
 He also caught on pretty quickly to the dictation pages. I'd write some of the words in to his word bank, then read all of the sentences through, then I'd read each sentence one word at a time. Pretty soon, he could remember the whole sentence, and would be able to write each sentence without my needing to repeat each word separately.
Completed dictation page
Now, the "experience story" pages proved to be more challenging for both of us! We were to look at the illustration, and answer the questions about that illustration: Who is this? What are they doing? What will happen next? and so forth.

With his learning delays, and speech impairment, sometimes it's just hard for him to articulate. Makes my heart ache for him.

The little Grammar book contains six lessons, with the possibility of covering a lesson a week. There are also six appendices, which contain subjects like capitalization rules, punctuation marks and rules, and spelling rules. Even though Botanist Boy thinks he knows all he needs to about grammar (which he does not!), I will continue having him work his way through this, as a review, if for nothing else. ;-)

If you are looking for something that has comprehensive instructions on how to use and apply it, I didn't find that with the Budding Author books. Upon first appearances, it was a little overwhelming for me to figure out just what I was supposed to have the boys do.

Perhaps if you are already "in to" Charlotte Mason methods, etc., it would be more obvious? Or perhaps if you are using it along with the Scaredy Cat Reading System, it would make a little more sense.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Crew's reviews, because there were several items reviewed, including the Scaredy Cat Reading System.

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1 comment:

  1. I like the checkoff list on the dictation sheet. Great idea. I'll have to see if I can implement that some way around here.


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