Questions about Literature, Reading and Vocabulary
What do “Spelling Power” and “Easy Grammar Plus” books consist of and do they work? What good literature, reading and vocabulary programs are out there that will help with comprehension?
Spelling Power is an excellent system for spelling. It works well for children who have good memories, who can essentially memorize spelling words through writing them and working with them a few times. It isn’t organized by phonetic word families so it is not a spelling approach that works well with children who have weak memories. It’s draw back is the cost, but its good point is that you can have one spelling resource for all the children.
Easy Grammar Plus is by Wanda Phillips. It is the same material that is in the Easy Grammar workbooks. Easy Grammar Plus is more expensive because it contains all the material for all the grades in one book. It is organized by parts of speech. There are worksheets for every topic. There is a student workbook that can be purchased to go along with it. The worksheet format may get a little tiresome after a while.
Grammar is very difficult to retain if it is not integrated into it’s most useful format which is “writing”. You never really “know” grammar until you become a writer and use it in real life.
If your child is really struggling with reading comprehension, just going over and over more comprehension material will not solve the problem. Reading a paragraph and then answering questions does not really teach comprehension. It tests comprehension. If you need to work with a child specifically on comprehension, I would suggest the LindaMood Bell kit titled “Visualizing and Verbalizing”. Look for it on the LindaMood Bell website. Another item that is often used in conjunction with this or alone is the Barnell Loft Comprehension Series. There are levels A-H and there is also a separate workbook for each detailed area. When put together, each of these areas make up the definition of “comprehension”. A few examples are: understanding the main idea and making deductions and inferences. You probably would not want to go through every single book, rather test the child and place him directly in the appropriate one for his level.
In a future post I will discuss Wordly Wise and Classical Roots.