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Straight Forward English Sentences, Straight Forward English Capitalization & Punctuation, and Straight Forward English Prepositions, Conjunctions, & Interjections Review by Missica Pullen

S. Harold Collins
Garlic Press
1 (800) 789-0554
899 South College Mall Road, Suite 381
Bloomington, IN 47401

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review three workbooks by Garlic Press. Straight Forward English Sentences, Straight Forward English Capitalization & Punctuation, and Straight Forward English Prepositions, Conjunctions, & Interjections are three workbooks that provide supplemental English and language arts work targeted, in my opinion, to the mid to upper elementary grades. These workbooks are lightweight, but pack a punch when it comes to the material that is covered in them.

Straight Forward English Sentences is a 40 page workbook comprised of 10 chapters. The workbook begins with sentence types, and progresses through topics such as compound subject-verb agreement and combining sentences. Each chapter is dedicated to one specific topic and at the end of the workbook there is a final assessment test and an answer key. The cost of this workbook is $6.95.

Straight Forward English Capitalization & Punctuation is a 39 page workbook comprised of 12 chapters. The first two chapters cover capitalization, and the next covers punctuation. There is a review exam after these chapters that covers all three sections. The remaining nine chapters are also focused on punctuation while covering various uses of commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks. Following Chapter 12 there is a final cumulative assessment. An answer key follows at the end of the workbook. The cost of this workbook is $6.95.

Straight Forward English Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections follows suit as a 37 page workbook with 10 chapters, a final assessment, and an answer key. The workbook begins with six chapters dedicated to prepositions. Three chapters of conjunctions follow, and the last two chapters cover interjections. Again, the cost is $6.95.

For us, these workbooks were good supplemental and review books. Each chapter begins with a short lesson covering the topic, and there are practice sentences that follow. I introduce the topic and do the first exercise, then each day afterward we will do one exercise. Each exercise is made up of multiple “problems” to complete. For example, in Capitalization & Punctuation, Chapter 6's exercise one has 15 sentences to correct.

While we use this in a homeschool, these workbooks are also appropriate for school use as well. There is a limited reproduction permission with these books allowing the parent or teacher who purchases the book to make the number of copies they need for their immediate students. So this book can be used as either a solo consumable, or for more than one child if you have multiple students. As far as grade level is concerned, my son is entering the 5th grade and has done quite well with these. I would say mid to upper elementary would excel, easily.

Overall, these are pretty good workbooks to use as a supplement or review. The pages are black and white, so copying for multiple students would not put a strain on ink or toner. They are what they say they are, “Straight Forward English.” They cover a good amount of material, are inexpensive, and get the job done efficiently. Other homeschooling methods may not like these, as they are not in the fashion of Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, or Classical education. The pages are packed with exercises and material, so that may deter you if your child is easily overwhelmed by that sort of thing. I think maybe increasing the page count, or adding a splash of color would make the contents more visually appealing, but that's just me. They are traditional workbooks that introduce a topic, practice that topic, and then move on to the next topic. They may not have a lot of bells and whistles, but they still do a good job of presenting and covering the information. I find them inexpensive enough that I would purchase them for my own use, even though I may not use them as a daily “go to” workbook.

—Product Review by Missica Pullen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2015