The samples to copy are printed in the midst of white space. I am using Handwriting Without Tears, which uses a different type of lined paper, so I am having him write on that instead of in the workbook anyway. But most people use three-lined paper, and that's what is provided for the student to write on. It would make more sense to have the example written on lines as well, so it works better as handwriting practice.
It's confusing to be told "copy this" when it actually looks different from what he is expected to produce; there is an unnecessary mental step of translation that he must do to translate "book font" to "handwriting on lines. If you want to have someone else choose your copywork and narration passages for you, this is done well. The source material is first rate. But I didn't realize how much I would dislike that since the passages have so much less merit out of their original context. The textbook could be useful to guide your scope and sequence; I think I'll keep it to give me an idea of how to increase the complexity of passages and keep me on track.
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But I'll pull my own source material from books we are reading. I'm on year one, so this is what it looks like. It provides passages for week one, then for the next 3 weeks it says "follow the same weekly pattern as above", using books of your own choosing. Then it spells out week 5 for you slight increase in complexity , and you figure out weeks for yourself.
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Follow that pattern for each 4-week cycle. You would use your own handwriting paper or notebook paper. They are printed right there in the workbook.
Then there is a perforated pull-out page with the copywork sample printed and blank lines for the student to write on. So basically the workbook allows you to follow the textbook, but not have to A use your own paper, or B choose your own passages, ever. And those are pretty much the two things I don't like about it. This is my updated review after using this book for 9 weeks for far. I love the program but I do not love the workbook. My problem is with the student pages.
The font used is hard for my first grader to read sometimes. I also wish that the pages for copywork the font would be written on lined paper for this first book and then weaned away as the age progresses. I will continue to use the program but the next years I will make my own pages. This is a review based on pre using.
I will try to remember to update after we have finished. So far I am impressed as a first year homeschooling mom I feel a bit overwhelmed with what needs to be taught so books like this are a blessing to me. Everything is laid out for you. I think it will be simple enough for my 1st grader to handle also.
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I love that the pages were perforated so they easily came out of the book to make copies for my son to use next year. We have been using this curriculum all year and I do like it. Mostly because it's short and I like the narration exercises for the most part. It is a wonderful way for children to learn how to summarize.
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But, I don't entirely like all of the passages included in the book. My daughter has struggled with some of the vocabulary in the passages in level 1 this year. She reads a lot and we read a lot of different stories, but some of the passages in level 1 had a lot of unusual words in them that she has never heard. Because of it, the summarization exercises have often been difficult for her and I don't think she has gotten as much out of them as she could have. I wish the author had chosen passages not quite so packed with difficult vocabulary.
I love Cynthia Rylant's lighthouse family books because she includes great vocabulary, but it is not in an overwhelming way. When a child is introduced to a few words they don't know, they can figure out the rest of the passage. But, if there are too many words they don't understand, they won't be able to get the main idea of the passage. This book is for a strong first grader. I am using the First Language Lessons curriculum as well and they do compliment each other.
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My only wish with this book is that the passages weren't quite as long or as difficult as they are. I did copy the pages at the back so I could reuse them later. I wish I had simply left them in the book and started a journal for my daughter. This is what I will do next year and then I will write the sentences in her book for copywork--rather than wasting the paper. I do also have the Writing with Ease textbook. I do think that the textbook is a helpful book--not mandatory, but can be helpful.
Last night, I looked at it again and realized that I should have looked at it sooner. The author explains that you can use your own passages for copywork and narration when you want to. I should have done this last week when the passage was far too difficult for my daughter to understand. There is also a helpful section at the back of the book with some FAQ's.
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Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. I also understand how important self-care is and finding time for the things you love. We often put the needs of our kids and families first, but we sometimes we have to put ourselves first so that we can be the best moms we can be.
Because your time is limited and valuable, each section is designed to be quick and fun. Most sections can easily be completed in 30 minutes or less. My goal is for you to reconnect with yourself and take care of your by infusing your creative interests into your daily life. Creativity is more than being able to paint or make a cute DIY project. This book is for all moms who want to make time for themselves and do the things that they love and make them happy!
The book will be available for purchase on Amazon either for eReader or as a physical book. Everyone who purchases the book will have access to the PDF version of the book to download and print out the art prints and workbook pages. My name is Bev Feldman, and I am a creative business owner, jewelry designer, freelance writer, and mom based in the Boston area.