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Monday, November 7, 2016

Homeschool Review - The Critical Thinking Co.

Review #hsreviews #criticalthinking #languagearts, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™, Reading, Writing, Language Arts, Critical Thinking

My youngest just completed her grammar book and needed something to continue on, so I was thrilled to get a chance to review Language Smarts™ Level E (Grade 4) from The Critical Thinking Co.™ It was perfect for her grade and skill level which teaches 4th Grade Language Arts and vocabulary concepts while also developing critical thinking and additional skills and concepts that are typically not taught until the 5th grade.


Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew got a chance to review The Critical Thinking Co.™'s new software (for Windows). If you have a child in the pre-K or Kindergarten level, these look amazing:

"Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™" program
described here: http://www.criticalthinking.com/preschool-academics


"Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™"
described here: http://www.criticalthinking.com/reading-writing-arithmetic-before-kindergarten-bundle.html "

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}  Alphabet Song Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Toddler-1 | New Version 2.0

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}  Letter Sounds Song and Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Prek-1

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}  Vowel Sounds Song and Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Prek-2

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}  Fun-Time Phonics!™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Prek-2


Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}, Review #hsreviews #criticalthinking #languagearts, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™, Reading, Writing, Language Arts, Critical Thinking
Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}, Review #hsreviews #criticalthinking #languagearts, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™, Reading, Writing, Language Arts, Critical Thinking

I received a thick, 392-page paperback workbook that covers a full year's worth of solid Language Arts curriculum for approximately the 4th Grade level.

The lessons are engaging, offering different types of word puzzles - Word Jumbles, Word Search and fill-in-the-blanks using word banks. The pages add just enough color to hold a 4th grader's interest without overwhelming the student with too much text.

Each lesson is easy to follow - No need for a teacher's book, because the answers are all in the back, and all of the lesson pages come with easy-to-understand, well-described instructions.

The lessons begin with explaining Syllables and then moves into word parts of prefixes, suffixes, and roots. From there, it has a unit on Word Relationships, which are synonyms, antonyms, anagrams, analogies, palindromes, and jumbles. Next, it covers spelling and gives the student a chance to proofread and get a glimpse of The Critical Thinking Co.™ Editor in Chief style followed by a unit on Reference Materials of using a dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia. The next section pulls in another popular The Critical Thinking Co.™ style lessons with Writing Detective, which builds writing skills before diving into parts of speech of nouns, verbs, etc.

The book continues to alternate between The Critical Thinking Co.™ Editor in Chief and Writing Detective style of lessons. It wraps up the year of learning with lessons on Reading and Writing, which includes publishing concepts as well.

The Writing section introduces Personal Narrative, Opinion Writing, and Informative Writing styles:

Language Smarts™ Level E even states that the book guarantees top performance on assessment tests, including:

  • California Achievement Test (CAT) 
  • Criterion Reference Test (CRT) 
  • Iowa Tests of Basic Skills® (ITBS®) 
  • Otis-Lennon Scholastic Abilities Test® (OLSAT®) 

  • The end of the book includes answers to the lesson pages and word puzzles, and there are a couple pages that list the learning Standards that the book complies to:


    How Did We Use It?

    We have embraced this book as our full Language Arts curriculum for the year.

    I first looked through the introductory pages to see how the book is to be used and quickly skimmed the standards pages since I'm glad the curriculum meets required standards, but our state does not require that homeschooler's teaching line up to one specific style of standards. So, as long as my child is learning and moving forward, I'm not overly concerned with the exact standard she is complying with. But, I do appreciate it when curriculum discloses this information, as it gives it validation to public school skeptics, and a bit of reassurance that I am on the right track.

    I opened the book, and we started from lesson 1. From there, we completed usually more than a couple pages a day. Some days, we covered just one section. Other days, we covered a few. I gauged it by watching my child - whether she picked up on the concept quickly or was struggling and needed more time as well as our schedule for the week.



    What Did We Think?

    It's a winner with us!

    We are loving this book. It provides a solid curriculum while providing enough fun puzzles and word searches to keep it interesting for my daughter. This is a perfect fit for what we needed this year. And, we both really like the color highlights that give it just enough color to make it interesting. The book covers all of the key components of the 4th grade year in Language Arts - From Grammar to Writing and Editing. I was very impressed that the end of the book covers writing styles that my high schooler is also covering. I also really love how it incorporates other The Critical Thinking Co.™ books - Editor in Chief and Writing Detective, throughout the book.

    FIND The Critical Thinking Co.™ ON SOCIAL MEDIA @:

    Read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

    Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

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