Stewart English Program Plus Book 1
Book 1 of The Stewart Writing Program sets the tone and the purpose of the entire series, presenting the fundamentals in a clear, conversational style that never loses sight of the ultimate goal of outstanding writing skills. “That’s a common noun; make it more specific with a proper noun. Here’s a sentence by J. K. Rowling; toss out her words and put in your own.” Everything makes sense, as the students discover the confidence and creativity that has always eluded them.
The “Plus...” part of every book in the series refers to the attention to both the opportunities and the stumbles that go with mastering these writing skills. For example, look at the parallel structure in the previous sentence, where the conjunctions “both...and” link the two nouns, “opportunities” and “stumbles.” Or learn the secrets of commas, which can make the writing flow, or can make it a mess.
Book 1 concludes with a section called “Writing Patterns,” uniting all the lessons to inspire writing that is detailed, organized, and convincing. Together with Books 2 and 3, this series leads to success like no other writing program.
Grammar with a purpose is the overriding philosophy of this program as it seeks to demonstrate the connection of grammar instruction to reading and writing. The lessons are interesting, even appealing. After an explanation of the topic, samples are presented from great literature, so the student can see the technique or rule as used by successful authors such as Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, Jack London and many more. Exercises are very interactive and always presented with the goal of improving writing skills, emphasizing the application of the material to a finished product. Charlotte Mason advocates will like the inclusion of copy work as students are asked to find and copy samples of the construct from other literature. Composition is also integrated throughout the program, but not in enough quantity to qualify this as a complete English course. Use it with another writing course, journaling or with a literature program that incorporates a lot of writing (such as the Literature Critical Thinking courses by Jim Stobaugh). Each worktext can be used over a 2-year span. Book 1, Principles Plus, emphasizes the basics and has excellent explanations of the parts of speech and punctuation rules (especially good presentation of quotation marks). It also covers parts of the sentence and subject-verb agreement. Book 2, Grammar Plus, is a complete grammar course. The presentation of grammatical structures is by function rather than form. It covers more complex issues of agreement, usage, pronoun case, and advanced punctuation. While each of the three books incorporate the use of learned elements in writing, Book 3, Writing Plus moves into the building of written compositions, culminating with writing activities that get you started on full-length pieces. It emphasizes writing style and stylistic methods. All instruction for the course is contained in the worktext. Teacher's Guides are simply Answer Keys to the exercises.
These materials focus on grammar but also include some writinginstruction.