Homeschooling two special needs children can often be difficult. I won't go into all of the problematic things right now, but I will say that teaching reading is one of them. I try to do as many subjects as I can with both boys at once. History and Science are easy subjects to do that with, but reading is not. When I had the opportunity to review one of the literature sets from Memoria Press through the TOS Review Crew one of my first thoughts was if it was possible to review it with both of my kids at once. Jacob, our youngest, has a very difficult time reading but his comprehension level is excellent when I read to him. Joshua, our middle son, on the other hand, can read very well but has a hard time with comprehension. We were able to ask for what level we wanted to review so after researching all of the grade levels, I chose the Fourth Grade Literature Guide Set and hoped that it would work for both of them. I was not disappointed. It was great.
This excellent set includes the student guides and teachers manuals for the following books:
- A Cricket in Times Square
- The Blue Fairy Book
- Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrims Progress
- Homer Price
Memoria Press was generous enough to send all four student books and teacher's manuals even though we would only have time to work with one of the selections during the review period. I decided to work with The Blue Fairy Book with Joshua and Jacob. We haven't studied fairy tales that much and I thought that the nuances and object lessons in The Blue Fairy Book would be good for them. Although, this set was meant for the child to read the story himself and then do the questions in the student guide, I chose to read the stories aloud to the boys because of the nature of their disabilities. I may have Joshua read some of the other selections and do some of the other literature guides himself in the future.
Of course, the Blue Fairy Book is a classic. Although it has fairy tales, this is not a Disney fairy tale book. It uses advanced vocabulary and, although not inappropriate or overly frightening, the situations are not sugar coated in any way. This made reading the stories to them very interesting. We stopped many times to discuss the situation or for me to explain something. I did this especially for my oldest who is a very literal thinker. However, even though the stories could be "deep", the boys enjoyed them very much.
We also enjoyed working with The Blue Fairy Book Student Study Guide as well. It is divided into six sections:
- Reading Notes
- Comprehension Questions
- Discussion Questions
The Reading Notes section briefly explains two or three things that may not be clear from the story. This section was really handy for my group.
Four words from the story are chosen for the Vocabulary section. This includes sentences where the vocabulary word is used. The student is then asked to choose the correct definition from a "Definitions Bank".
The Comprehension Questions are asked to make sure that the student has a clear understanding of what he is reading.
In the Quotations section a quote is given from the story and the student is asked to identify who said it.
The Discussion Questions provided some great family time talking about the story.
The Enrichment section was different each time and asked the student to do different things that would help them to apply the lessons learned to their own life.
The Teacher's Guide provides answers or suggested answers for all of the above questions, but also has Quizzes that are to be given after every two stories are completed and a Final Exam when the whole book is completed. Both the Quizzes and the Final Exam are a mix of matching, multiple choice, "definition bank", short answer comprehension questions and paragraph comprehension questions.
We have really enjoyed using the Fourth Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press. I am looking forward to using the other books with the boys as well. To find out more about this set and other literature sets from Memoria Press click on any one of the highlighted sections above. Other members of the TOS Review Crew reviewed other literature sets from Memoria Press and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Reading!