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I love the Essentials Program. So much of what has given me confidence as a teacher has come from what I've learned in Essentials. My husband tutored Essentials while he was working on his Masters of Theology. It just so happened that when he started tutoring, he also started his first semester of Greek. Amazingly, everything he learned while tutoring set him up for success in learning both Greek and Hebrew. Why? He knew the basics of his own language and could track with the grammar of language as it translated to other languages.
This has also been my experience with learning Latin. I just use the tools I learned in Essentials to figure out the language puzzles in Latin. Enough about why I love Essentials...and on to resources.
ENGLISH GRAMMAR RESOURCES:
- Classical Conversations English Trivium Table
- Classical Conversations Quid et Quo Trivium Table (the what and why about every word in the sentence...something you'll work on year two or three of Essentials)
- Our Mother Tongue
- Grammar and Diagramming Sentences (source of extra sentences to diagram)
- Diagramming the Scriptures (for those third tour families that would like some extra sentences to diagram)
- Philippians (this is what I diagrammed with my son on his third tour through Essentials. We didn't have an answer key, but we had a lot of great discussions about whether that phrase was adjectival or adverbial)
- Spell to Write and Read (my favorite spelling program)
- Classical Conversations Math Trivium Table
- Mega Fun Card Game Math
- Quick Flip Arithmetic
- Everything you need to know about Math Homework
- Understanding Mathematics
- IEW Portable Walls (We use this every time we write)
- American Dictionary of the English Language
- The Synonym Finder
- Fix It (IEW's editing training program...LOVE it)
- The Elements of Style by Strunk and White (This is a Challenge II resource)
Let me pause right here and say, one of the most convincing ways to encourage your students to use style in their writing is to offer them great models of what you are requiring. E.B. White wrote the above mentioned Elements of Style, so read some of his books and look for sentence openers, or identify quality adjectives and strong verbs.
Books written with excellent style:
- Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
- The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
- Stuart Little by E. B. White
- 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson
- Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
- Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (look for duel -ly words...they are everywhere!)
- This is just a short list of excellently written books where we've enjoyed identifying elements of style. Any book that is well written will include these elements.
So there you have it. My ultimate list of resources to support the Essentials program.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.