We got to review Write Through Early Modern History - Level 1 - Manuscript from Brookdale House. We received the ebook version, which sells for $22.95. For those that prefer physical books, the paperback sells for $30.95.
I've mentioned the Write Through History series here on the blog before. We used Write From Ancient History last school year as a supplement because it worked so well with our study of history, but we really only scratched the surface of what this versatile program can do.
Write Through Early Modern History combines grammar, spelling, and penmanship with history. As children listen, read, write and copy fascinating historical passages, stories, and poems, they're not only learning about the history presented, but they're also learning language arts at the same time.
I like that there are so many options not only with using the program, but also in selecting the book that best fits your students. First, you choose a time period. For us, Early Modern History matched up best with Exploration to 1850, the year we're at in our history curriculum. Then you choose a level. I felt Level 1 would be best for my 3rd and 6th graders. The levels are designed to be flexible, so it's more about ability than about age or grade. Then you choose manuscript or cursive. We selected manuscript, since one of my students prefers it. Emphatically. Lots of options means you get the product that is right for your class!
The table of contents is presented like a timeline, so you can easily select the passages you want to compliment what you're learning about in history. We're learning about early colonial times, so we read passages that would compliment that, such as Pocohontas.
I like that I can print just the pages that my kids need to write on, and read the stories and poems directly from the computer. This page shows Hannah's copywork from after we read the Pocahontas tale.
These books pull from a Charlotte Mason approach to learning, which includes narration. I had not used narration in my homeschool before. The idea is that you read a passage aloud, and then your students write about it in their own words. What I discovered is that this is a real challenge for Hannah. I don't know if she's having a hard time listening, or if she's not understanding the vocabulary (remember, English is not her first language), but she has difficulty with this task.
She enjoys the copywork, however. Hannah is pretty excited about learning cursive, and asked if she could do her copywork in cursive.
This book also gave a name to "studied dictation." We've been doing this with our spelling program, but I didn't know it was called something specific. It's where the teacher reads a passage, a piece at a time, and the students copy it exactly. As I said, this is how our spelling program is done, so we are already familiar with how to do this, and most times Jack and Hannah can write sentence by sentence with me only reading the sentence once or twice. Some of the more complex sentences need to be read again. The book allows you to break it down even further, if need be, but I want to keep it very clear where sentences start and end so they get the proper capitalization and punctuation, and that's hard to grasp when you're chopping a sentence into phrases.
I find the Write Through History books to be very meaty, and full of options as to how you use them in your own homeschool. The teacher's guide offers you a couple of suggested ways to use the book, and of course, each family can tweak it to what suits them best. There's easily a year's worth of work there, regardless of how you choose to implement it.
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