Reading and writing are such basics of our education that when I was given the opportunity to review Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum.
Looking at the main reading list I was pleased to see the quality of selections, particularly for the interactive notebooks for the older levels. These notebooks have the kids cutting and pasting plus writing responses so for someone that likes to keep his hands busy like EJ, they are just right. I found they also focussed on the important parts of the book so they kept him interested.
Before I get into the interactive notebooks too much I should tell you about the rest of the program and what we liked about it.
First off, I found the entire thing very well laid out with monthly handout guides at the beginning of each section so you can get things prepared and into your binder or notebook. (Of course, if you are like me you do this then forget to pack said binder in the car when you leave for Disneyland and not have it with you when you write your review.)
Then there are the monthly lesson plans broken down by week and day. These are great for keeping you on track with your work plus with the supplies you will need.
EJ really enjoyed the video lessons and video read-aloud of his books even though we had many of the books at home already. I guess it’s the idea of having a different “teacher” read and explain it that’s the novelty.
He also liked to do many of his lessons on his whiteboard like what is shown in the videos. He got his easel out and was pleased to show the rest of the family the work he had done. (I think he likes writing on the whiteboard because it gives him more space plus the pens glide so smoothly across the surface. If your child is a reluctant writer you might want to give this a try.)
Because we were provided the one-year subscription we began by checking out a couple of different levels before deciding that Indigo would be right for us. It’s about a 5th-grade level with lots of variety in genres throughout the year. This is the same way all of the levels work so it was easy to move from one to another before locking into this one.
I was able to find many of the titles at our local used bookstore and others on Kindle. I do like having the printed book but having it on the Kindle makes it easier when we are traveling so it’s a toss-up. For some of the titles in different levels, we downloaded the sample from Kindle to see if it was something EJ would like to read as an extra. (He enjoyed doing the interactive notebooks for these extra titles, especially the ones that held the promise of watching the movie version once he was done his work.)
So, back to the interactive notebooks. I really like the way they caught EJ’s interest and helped with his small motor skills. The instructions were very clear and simple so he could follow them himself.
By keeping it simple, the creators of this program have made it appealing to children who may not normally be jumping up and down for joy when it comes to language arts lessons.
The interactive notebooks begin in the second month of lessons so kids have a chance to get used to the new program before adding more to it.
They include activities for topics like definitions of words particular to the story, character traits, foreshadowing, and many more. I found they were very well rounded and by breaking the work up into chapter blocks, EJ was able to understand the examples clearly. I’ve added some screenshots of the various activities below.
As you can see, the work is cut into bite size pieces while still covering all the important bits of the story. Even though we have studied many of the topics included in these interactive notebooks from Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum in the past, this format was a real winner for EJ.
I would be remiss in not mentioning the wonderful customer service and support that the ladies at Home School Navigator provide. Any time that I had a question for them they were quick and friendly in their response and made sure my issue was dealt with. I can’s say enough good about them. They clearly care about kids and homeschooling families.
The Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum is a definite fit for our family. I’m looking forward to using it with MJ once he gets a little older too!
To hear from other review crew families be sure to click on the image below.