Monday, March 16, 2015

The Critical Thinking Co. TOS Crew Review

Grammar is not a favorite subject of mine to teach. Just don’t share that with my kids! As a homeschooler you are probably very familiar with The Critical Thinking Co. I recently had a chance to review Editor in Chief Level 1. I received a physical copy of Editorin Chief Level 1($19.99).
Editor in Chief Level 1 is intended for grades 4-5. This is a paperback consumable book. Editor in Chief includes both the student workbook and the answer key in in the back of the book.  There are several different topics covered that slowly build upon one another. There are 12 topic lessons with a total of 69 lessons in all with review every third lesson. At the end of the book there is a Final Review which will cover all the chapters.

The Lessons:

1. Content

2. Capitalization

3. Punctuation

4. Spelling Rules

5. Nouns and Pronouns

6. Adjectives, Adverbs, and Articles

7. Verbs

8. Agreement

9. Conjunctions, Prepositions, and Interjections

10. Confusing Word Pairs/Negative Words

11. Homophones and Homographs

12. Run-On Sentences and Sentence Fragments

How does a typical lesson look like?
I used Editor in Chief Level 1 with my 9 year old son who is in 3rd grade. We used this 4xs a week. He didn't even complain when I told him to grab his book.
The beginning of each lesson you read some of the rules that pertain to the area. Afterwards, you have a paragraph or a topic that you read. On the left side you will see a key that lets you know what and how many errors you are searching for. Also each lesson has a picture on each page.
Your child is editing the passage. For example during the punctuation Little Man had to search for different punctuation errors such as periods, commas, semicolons, and so forth. He word mark in the errors. Little Man was able to refer back to the rules at the beginning of each topic with ease.
There is space provided to rewrite the edited passage. This is actually an optional activity. I had Little Man do at least one on each chapter. It depended on how well he comprehended the topic with determine how often he wrote out the passage. He tried very hard to get it correct quickly as writing is not something he enjoys doing. I did find that the space provided wasn’t enough for my son to rewrite the complete passage.

Each lesson does become a bit more complicated as it moves along.

The Answer Key is written out with the corrections in bold print along with a number marked next to it.

I have to say that l like that the lessons are fairly short. My son enjoyed using Editor in Chief. Even when he needed help in certain areas he didn’t get frustrated. My son likes being independent and he was able to do grammar without much help overall.

This is stated as a full curriculum for grammar. Which may be the case if your comfortable teaching grammar. I personally don’t think I would see it as a stand-alone curriculum but, more of a supplement to help reinforce skills. I thought it moved a bit too fast for my lacking grammar skills. If your child doesn't have a general understanding of these concepts then this might be more challenging for them. I think it is a great supplement for my son to reinforce his grammar skills. I was stumped a few times and had to look in the Answer Key to know what I was doing at times to help him out.

What did I think?

I liked the variety of topics and the way each lesson was structured. This was challenging enough to make you really think about what you need to do to edit the passage. The passages are a varied of topics which made it interesting reading about different things.

This is the first time that I have actually ever used The Critical Thinking Co. but, it won’t be the last time. I was really impressed with how it was put together. The prices of all their products are very reasonable. 

The Critical Thinking Co. carries a variety of subjects: grammar, reading, math, science, social studies, and science. Don’t forget to read what others in the TOS Crew reviewed as they all did different books and subjects. 

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