Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product from Melanated Gold Review Squad in exchange for my honest review.
Some, myself included, would assert that the very best way for a child to obtain and grow excellent English skills is to focus on reading. And truly, this concept does make perfect sense. Rather than learn from the relatively narrow scope of a single teacher, exposing a child to several skilled authors and their award winning work allows her to learn from the best. Oak Meadow takes this concept and, through a self-guided curriculum, seeks to hone reading and writing skills by means of studying literature, journaling, vocabulary exercises, and more.
According to their website Oak Meadow encourages students to become more independent in their learning by “looking inward while also exploring the outer world in greater depth.”
While the parent may still continue to direct their child through specific lessons, the responsibility of how much work is completed per lesson falls on the child. The coursebook is loaded with an appropriate amount of tools including checklist, planning pages and assessment allowing the child to take accountability for their work.
Included with the program are two books that add a lot of value to this package. “100 Ways to Improve Your Composition and Creative Writing” is full of exercises that will allow your child to develop strong writing skills by exploring a variety of writing styles and challenging prompts. “The Elements of Style” is a more formal tool. This book serves as a sort of rule book for writing. Much of the content is dedicated to correcting common mistakes to ensure that your student’s writing is clear, concise, and uses the proper words or phrases. I recommend that instructors read through his text as well. You’ll likely discover that you have some mistakes in your speech and writing too.
As well as the two books included above, Oak Meadow also offers grade appropriate books with an adequate exposure to supporting a vast vocabulary while building on emotional intelligence through their selection. Each book is meant to engage and really hone in on your child’s critical thinking skills through discussion and supportive graphic organizers to encourage clear concise thoughts.
Our journey started with Oak Meadow last year when a friend was kind enough to give their Grade 4 ELA curriculum to us after listening to me vent my frustrations for a gentle but effective approach to writing for my son. I instantly fell in love with how the lessons were not only set-up with scaffolded lessons but also lessons focused on motivating him to look beyond his own world. As a mom to a gifted ELA learner, I wondered how Oak Meadow would stack up to other curriculums often leaving my child feeling uninspired. When it comes to ELA my daughter has always been ahead of the curve. Her excitement in reading and writing was often overshadowed by the pace of her curriculums not being challenging enough. This along with helping my daughter find a renewed joy in learning is why I immediately jumped on board to review Grade 8.
While I certainly wouldn’t recommend the curriculum to be used beyond the grade your child is in, I have been pleasantly surprised with how Oak Meadow’s approach has kept my child engaged, while offering the necessary challenges my daughter desperately needed. Something I have noticed is the amount of writing increases more and more per grade. According to my district my daughter is in Grade 6 so the writing was a bit of a shock for my daughter. However, because the middle school grades allow the child to set the pace, once my daughter got over her initial shock I have been pleased with how she worked to make this curriculum work for her at a pace she is most comfortable with. Seeing the joy on her face, as she works through her writing opportunities, feels my heart with love. Oak Meadow truly understands the difference between instant gratification and developing a profound joy of learning. For us, the ELA portion of Oak Meadow was meant to be used to confront the issues my daughter has faced with being a gifted ELA learner by using this program biweekly. However, I find my daughter being drawn to this curriculum more and more as the year progresses.
You can trust that Oak Meadow will serve as a full year’s worth of curriculum that will enrich your students with quality literature and refine their writing skills.
Click Here to check out Part 2 of Oak Meadow Physical Science Review
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