Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hake Publishing Review

I love language arts. I'm one of those people that laugh at grammar jokes and plays on words. I majored in English in college and taught it at the secondary level. I may or may not silently correct people when they speak grammatically incorrect. Yeah, I'm one of those.

It's funny to see what kids pick up on. (Hey, did you noticed I ended that sentence with a preposition? Just because I love the language and all the finer points of it doesn't mean I speak formally all the time, ha.) Because my kids are around me all day, they have naturally learned many grammar rules without having been officially taught. Also, because the majority of our schooling is based on literature, they learn much about sentence structure and grammar rules simply through reading. However, there are some things that I do believe should be specifically taught, whether it's the hows, whys, whens, or whatnot. That's why I was excited to hear that Hake Publishing recently published their Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum. 

Stephen Hake, the founder of Hake Publishing, began writing for Saxon math in 1984 and is the main author for the 3rd-8th grade textbooks. He believes that students will succeed with a language arts program based on Saxon's style of incremental development and continual review. Their curricula currently covers grades 3-8, but has been used successfully to help students even older.

The homeschool version of each level contains 3 parts:

  • Student Textbook
  • Student Writing Workbook
  • Teacher Guide

The student textbook is a consumable, softcover book that include daily lessons, review sets, and tests. There are 111 lessons that cover capitalization, punctuation, parts or speech, sentence structure, spelling rules, correct word usage, and dictionary skills.  The lessons begin with a grammar meeting which is designed "to strengthen listening skills, to model correct word usage, to practice new vocabulary, and to develop effective speaking and writing habits." After that, the new lesson is introduced along with practice exercises. Finally, the student completes the review set of exercises on his own, receiving help as needed.

The writing workbook contains 21 writing lessons that are to be assigned on test days. The workbook's purpose is to help the student develop good writing by practicing recording his thoughts and ideas on paper. It enhances skills such as brainstorming, active and passive voice, topic sentences, facts and opinions, persuasive writing, and more. 

The teacher guide is a scripted manual for leading the lessons. It includes the grammar meeting question along with the daily vocabulary words. As far as the actual lesson and exercises, it simply states to read it together and work through the examples and practice sections. The actual exercises are not included, so the teacher needs to be looking at a student textbook for those. This book also contains the answer key for the textbook and the writing book along with the masters for the tests and extra practice worksheets and the accompanying answer keys.

My 10-year-old daughter is the one who has been working through this book. Even though she is in 4th grade, I thought this would be a good option for her since this is her first formal introduction to learning grammar and because Saxon (which this is modeled after) is known to have a higher level of teaching. I was pleased to see how well she's doing with this. Many weeks into the curriculum, she still hasn't struggled with any of it. The lessons take maybe 10 minutes to work through.

One thing that is somewhat impractical is the grammar meeting sections. Since the narrative is written for a classroom setting, it is a bit awkward to read as is. As homeschoolers, we are used to adapting curricula to meet our needs, but I would think that something that is marketed as a homeschool version would already be adapted. Also, since the teacher guide does not include the actual exercises, it is not beneficial other than the masters and answer keys, in my opinion.

The curriculum itself is working well in our home. The lessons include review along with new concepts, and they are not too long. I love the addition of the vocabulary and Latin root words as they are vital in understanding definitions and etymology. 

If your child benefits from the teaching style of Saxon math books, he might thrive with the depth and complexity of the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum.

You can read more reviews of this curriculum on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

Crew Disclaimer
Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment