ENGLISH IS ONE of those critical subjects (you know, “readin’, ritin’, and ‘rithmetic). All students need a solid foundation in their language, the skill to communicate effectively their entire lives.
I have enjoyed teaching English, even years before I became an author. For one, I love to read (and help my children love reading). And grammar is fun (seriously), once you learn the basics.
But once my students have those basics down, once they understand how to read for themselves and identify major parts of speech, I let them study independently. Workbooks that are “grab and go” make teaching English simple; I can check the work while they get an excellent education.
The problem for classical and Charlotte Mason homeschoolers is finding that balance between easy homeschooling and teaching the real “why” behind the lessons. MasterBooks Elementary Bible and English Grammar gives students a great balance of both.
MasterBooks Bible and English Grammar
Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders who have a grasp of parts of speech and sentence structure will benefit from Bible and English Grammar. This unique combination offers one year of study combining both subjects. The course is truly remarkable.
The course contains two books. First, the student reads from Illustrated Family Bible Stories. This hardcover Bible story book is the basis of the course reading and comprehension. The volume includes stories from Genesis through Revelation. Throughout the book are included beautiful illustrations and even illustrated marginal notes for greater understanding. The beginning of each major section of the Bible includes an overview of the books included, a map, and cultural and historical information so the student will better understand the context. The back of the book gives a Bible reference section including pictures and information about daily life in biblical times, information about plants and animals referenced, explanation of the different places mentioned in Scripture, and a list of Biblical characters and who they are, and even questions with page references for the answer. The book ends with a comprehensive index.
The second book in the course is called the Parent Lesson Planner. This book is actually the student workbook for the course. The first several pages offer an informal yet easy-to-use lesson plan. The plan is broken up into weeks and semesters for easy use, and each day offers a space for students to check off the work is completed and for the parent to record the grade.
The bulk of the book, however, consists of worksheets for the student’s use. Each lesson is printed on the front and back of one page. The page begins with the required short reading assignment. The week’s verse, suitable for memorization, is printed at the top. Next, the student is given several biblical terms to define from the reading. A section of questions for reading comprehension is also included in each lesson. At least one writing assignment based on the story is also included.
The worksheets also contain several grammar exercises that may or may not be loosely tied to the day’s reading. Students work on grammar concepts like parts of speech, alphabetizing, sentence structure, and beginning paragraph structure. Most lessons include multiple writing assignments or grammar activities. While classical students will appreciate the copious writing opportunities, Charlotte Mason families will enjoy the activities included.
Overall, MasterBooks Elementary Bible and English Grammar is simple to use, consistent with the MasterBooks “open and go” teaching philosophy. Students with previous exposure to the parts of speech and who are strong independent readers will find the lessons short and straight-to-the-point.
The workbook does not include lines for students to write on, so our workbook quickly became messy and hard to use. When we switched to answering in a spiral notebook, this improved. We also found some of the writing assignments laborious for our fourth-grade student, even though he loves writing in his spare time. He often asked to compromise with one written paragraph a day, rather than the two or three assigned.
This course, then, is easy to teach, engaging for students, and simple to customize. I would recommend families consider taking a break from the usual grammar curriculum and enjoying the change of pace — and Biblical study — for one upper elementary year.
The parent lesson planner is designed to be consumable, but the hardcover Bible storybook will be treasured for years to come.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this curriculum from the publisher for my own consideration. These opinions are my own. Affiliate links help support this site.