Friday, June 16, 2017

A Pirate's Guide t' th' Grammar of Story Review


Ahoy, me Hearties! Are you ready for an adventure on the high seas? The last few weeks we have been exploring the high seas with A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar Story. I received a physical book for this review.

I have an 11 year old boy who would rather be outside creating his own adventures rather than learning grammar or creative writing inside. I was excited to start this with him.  I felt that this would be something to grab his imagination while he is learning. A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar Story is an ingenious way of grabbing the imagination of those of us who dream of being pirates on the high seas but find ourselves having to live out life as landlubbers. 

A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar Story was created by Yogger LeFosa. This isn’t meant to be a traditional workbook. At the same time it requires your student to work hard and to be challenged and yes, even complain at times. It is a challenging workbook. 

This is intended for ages 8 and up but, was geared more towards middle school and high school age range as they could use it more independently. Younger children can use this with the assistance of parents. 

Avast ye! Now for the loot about A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar Story. This is a paperback workbook. It is a consumable workbook and you will need 1 book for each student the booty is not for copying. 

The story is narrated by a pirate Captian Yogger. The setting is on the high seas on a pirate ship. The student has been taken captive by Captain Yogger.  Let’s just say that Captain Yogger is the captain and you better pay attention so “look here las, I be the captain of this here ship.”  Now you need to learn the ways to handle a ship and do your part-no slacking is allowed. It’s going to be a fun challenge while searching for jelly beans with magical powers. Sounds like a lot of fun.

This is a creative writing curriculum. So prepare to be boarded ye mates with an adventure. There are 323 pages. The workbook is broken down by exercises. There are 26 exercises in all. As far as a scheduling you can easily go at your own pace. It’s extremely flexible to fit into anyone’s schedule. You could go through this in a semester or set it up for a full year course. 


The story starts out setting the stage you are going to read the story all in pirate talk. It goes back in forth with Captain Yogger talking in pirate talk and you the student in proper English. For us parents who may need a bit of help deciphering the language there is an introduction in the back of the book in clear proper English. 


The story builds on its self introducing concepts that are needed to write a creative story. The variety of exercises includes is mindstorming in which they give you a list of ideas of topics. You will be given a few suggestions in the begining. They break up mindstorming in several list for you to work on. The mindstorming exercises will help you prepare to be creative with your writing with topics like the setting, sounds, colors, characterizations, emotions, smells, vocal characterizations, and much more creative mindstorming.

At the beginning of each chapter you will hear from Captian Yogger which will set the stage for the lesson. There are several exercises and they vary in length. 

There are reviews in some chapters which are called, Scratch Yer Noggin” This will focus on new concepts to reinforce what was taught in the chapter.

After the exercises is a section called “Raise the Anchor and Set Sail,” which is where all those mindstorming exercises come into play for you to write your own pirate story.

It’s also a very comprehensive curriculum that is building up skills one step at a time while it adds more skills to itself in each chapter.

You are not learning grammar rules. You are learning writing sentence structure which uses grammar to put that sentence together. You are coming up with verbs, nouns, adjectives, and other grammar concepts in a non-traditional way. It’s almost like learning without knowing you are learning those concepts while putting words, sentences, paragraphs, and finally creating your own story together.

When you do your traditional grammar work I feel that it’s going to come together as your student has already created a story using grammar concepts. It’s sneaky just like a pirate wants to be when he wants to find some more loot. For me I feel like that pirate because, I want my son to be able to write creatively and think about how to put a story together that will be his own masterpiece and being able to express himself on paper clearly. For this mamma having the skill to write a creative story is a treasure fit for a king.

This doesn’t have a teacher’s manual or answer key. Just an introduction as there isn’t any right or wrong answers. If you want skydiving pink porcupine that dances and sings and smells like bananas as a main character- you can. Your student gets to think outside of the traditional box creative writing curriculum.

This is an extremely engaging and unique curriculum. It’s easy to understand for both the student and the teacher. 

How did I use this in my homeschool?

We are in summer school mode. I usually do school three times a week for around an hour just doing some basics, catching up, and reviews.

Honestly, my son was not all too pleased when I told him about A Pirate's Guide t' th' Grammar of Story. He’s a trooper and is use to mom pulling out new curriculum at all times of the year. 


He liked the introduction with the pirate talk. The story grabbed his attention and made him chuckle and even roll his eyes.

We actually have done a few chapters. We didn’t spend more than 15-20 minutes a day. Judging from what we have done so far I think I liked that time range. I did have to sit down with him and help him some. Overall, it was self explanatory and he got it. The only thing I helped him with is when he was asking for help mindstorming. Once I got him started he would take off without my help. Of course, he complained about doing it. There were no tears and it didn’t stress me out.  
 

 I’m going to put it on the shelf for the summer and schedule it in our upcoming school year this fall. For my family I’m planning on doing it three days a week. One day doing the exercises and giving him two days to write his story. We may have to adjust some once we are in a regular school year. 

It was fun seeing what he came up with during the exercises. He was silly and had some crazy ideas. 

This is what my son had to say when I asked him what he thought, “Well, mom it wasn’t bad. I thought it was a fun topic that wasn’t serious but, really, a magical jelly bean as a treasure! I would of have made it a magical sword or dagger or something more like a pirate would have.” So as you can see he was being creative by thinking of another storyline. 

Then he said, “It was hard and I don’t like writing a whole lot. I liked that it wasn’t a story that I had to write about myself or trying to come up with a topic all by myself, and pirates are awesome.” “It was something I could be either serious or crazy with making up my own story.” “I mean mom, I still don’t care for “Raise the Anchor and Set Sail,” part but, it was easy to put a story together with all the exercises I did.” 

Then he added, “I really don’t like doing outlines and this book I didn’t have to do one and it was easier for me to put a story down rather than trying to figure out what I wrote on an outline mom.” 

Shiver me timbers! I think he likes it more than any other creative writing curriculum we have done prior. 

A suggestion would be to include a dictionary with pirate talk. Maybe have download available on the website. That way it’s at your finger tip if you want to add in your own colorful pirate words in your story. My son has several pirate books that have some pirate talk and he referred to it several times. He wanted to make himself as the captive on Captain Yoggers ships learn pirate talk so others would understand him better. Wow, he’s really thinking about the story. 

A suggestion my son made was to have a downloadable pirate map so you can create a treasure map for the story.

I’m really impressed with A Pirate's Guide t' th' Grammar of Story. I would highly recommend it.  I’m excited to use this as part of our regular school schedule this coming school year.

Social Media:


I also noticed a story coming out on the website that looks intriguing:

Twitter link: @HansenFehr  https://twitter.com/HansenFehr  

 I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.
 

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