_____ Grade Success

Isn't it your fondest dream to find everything you need to know in order to help your child learn? That's the claim this series makes - and it delivers! Homeschooling parents want to know what their children are supposed to be learning in each subject area for each grade. It's all in here! Parents would love to have checklists to determine if a child has the skills necessary to start or end a particular grade. They're in here! Parents eagerly look for easy-to-do and creative activities to help their students meet specific learning objectives. They're in here!

Designed as a book to empower parents as they seek to impact, guide and direct their children's education, all educational options are addressed - public, private, and homeschooling. Each grade level book follows a typical pattern. Initial chapters cover Piaget's stages of cognitive development, Bloom's learning objectives, and learning styles as well as outlining developmental goals for each respective grade level and giving an overview of what is meant by standards-based education. Next follows separate chapters for reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and thinking skills. Each of these chapters begins with a checklist of skills necessary at the beginning of the grade level and concludes with a checklist for skills to be mastered by the end of the grade level. In between these two checklists is an overview of the skills to be taught, troubleshooting grids that provide quick tips for addressing specific skill-acquiring problems, and activities. These activities are the "gold" of this series. Creative and fun, they are outlined in a step-by-step fashion, are simple and easy-to-do, and incorporate effective methods for all learning styles. Each book's concluding chapters include a discussion of assessment, socializing, and readiness for the next grade level. The very useful appendices include a reading list which incorporates learning activities, software descriptions, and a month-by-month topical calendar for the book's grade level.

These books would be a very valuable resource for any parent. In fact, a creative homeschool mom could probably transform these intended-for-afterschool activities into full-blown lesson plans. There is a wealth of creative learning in each subject area wrapped up into the activities. There is also a great deal of very helpful information on how children learn as well as what is typically covered at each grade level. It would be very easy to make sure your child grasped these basics without cramping your style. This is a comprehensive overview and, to some degree, a defense of standards-based education although the author is careful to explain that standards should be considered bare minimums. Although homeschooling is referenced as a target audience for the book, there is an underlying assumption that homeschoolers are interacting with the school system in some manner. Even when this is not the case, you can put your mind at ease knowing you are meeting basic requirements while having fun. ~ Janice

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