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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Grammar/Spelling

By Kenneth P. Cash
Seekers Publishing, Inc.
www.seekerspublishing.com

PO Box 31630
Independence, Ohio 44131
216-337-2723


The Grammar/Spelling book is a glossy softcover with a simplistic orange and navy blue color cover with white accents. The perfect-bound spine clearly presents the title, author, and publisher. I appreciate this style of binding because my bookshelves can easily become crowded, and I am better able to find what I need with perfect-bound items. With 67 pages and a standard size of 8 ½ x 11 inches, this book is comfortable to use with school materials. It is a support tool for teaching grammar and spelling rules and intricacies, so nothing additional is necessary other than traditional writing materials and a desire to improve grammar and spelling. Grammar/Spelling can be used alongside a full curriculum, or it may be creatively used as a stand-alone tool.

Written by Kenneth P. Cash, a college English instructional specialist with 30 years of experience and college English instructor for 12 years, the book is organized into two clear sections: one for grammar and one for spelling, each with 33 pages. Brief groups of review questions are also included but are minimal (six questions for grammar and one for spelling). The answers are given on a single page at the back of the book along with a single page of 101 frequently misspelled words.

There are no specific instructions for using the book, which allows the parent/teacher to either select particular areas in which a student needs extra assistance or work through the information systematically. Also, the two sections that comprise the book are not intertwined, so they may be used together or separately. We chose to work through the material in the order presented, and I simply added checkmarks in the Table of Contents as we covered the information. Beginning with "Parts of Speech," "Word Functions," and "Sentence Analyses" and continuing through "Sentence Fragments," "Punctuation Marks," and more, the Grammar section provides a great deal of information. The Spelling section includes "Nouns--Singular and Plural," "Adding "ing" To Words That End in "E," "Misspelled or Confused Words," and "Frequently Misspelled Words." The Spelling section is well organized and easy to follow; it will definitely improve both spelling and vocabulary, as definitions are provided. Examples are provided throughout both sections to assist in explaining proper usage.

I simply went over the included information on a white board and presented the example. Then we practiced correct use of the particular information in my son's writing or searched our current reading material for an example. The section on "Sentence Fragments" was particularly helpful for our 12-year-old. We also organized the 101 Frequently Misspelled Words into groups of spelling words to study, which is something I will definitely do again for our two younger boys. I even used Grammar/Spelling myself and will continue to do so to improve my own writing. For periodic review, the Grammar/Spelling book would be a wonderful help to high school and college students as well as adults with a desire to offer their best to blogs, articles, or other published work. The pages are not overcrowded; they are straightforward and present the information very clearly. Some families may prefer additional examples, but we found the given material, usually one example, to be enough.

If your homeschool desires a straightforward tool for use in improving grammar and spelling, the Grammar/Spelling book is an excellent tool you will find easy to use. It includes the important information you need to help improve the writing of your children, as well as your own, without extra information to bog you down. The Grammar/Spelling book is solidly seated on our reference shelf and will receive regular visits from both the children and adults in our home. It is an affordable tool that provides a very necessary skill, that of writing well, making it perfect for every homeschool educational arsenal.



Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2011


The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
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