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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Memoria Press 8th Grade Literature Guide Set

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review
Memoria Press produces easy to use, classical, Christian materials for home and private schools. Memoria Press products require no previous knowledge of the subjects being taught but are designed with high academic standards.  I have always been very pleased with the products we have received from Memoria Press and was excited to have an opportunity to use and review their 8th Grade Literature Guide Set.
Memoria Press Literature Guides Review
The Memoria Press Literature Guides teach students to become active readers.  The guides focus on vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, comprehension, and composition skills.  Students will learn to identify important content in the stories they read. Their minds will be challenged by quality literature and they will learn to think critically while becoming superior readers. 

The 8th Grade Literature Guide Set includes:

The Wind in the Willows Student Study Guide and Teacher Guide
Treasure Island Student Study Guide and Teacher Guide
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Student Study Guide and Teacher Guide
As You Like It Student Study Guide and Teacher Guide

The Student Study Guides are consumable books.  In these guides students will find an introduction to the book and then assignments broken down by chapters or acts.  At times, the assignments will span more than one chapter but that is noted for the student.    

The Teacher Guide contains the entire student guide with the answers for each chapter's assignments included.  In the Teacher's Guide you will also find chapter quizzes that are allowed to be reproduced for classroom use, a final exam and answer keys for discussion questions, quizzes, and exam.  

I have been using Memoria Press 8th Grade Literature Set with my 14 year old 8th grade son.  The books do not need to be done in any particular order so we decided to start out with Treasure Island.  

The Treasure Island Student Study Guide is 89 pages long. Each chapter assignment for Treasure Island has:

Vocabulary Questions: Students write the definition of the bolded word used in a sentence and write synonyms and alternate forms of a few different words
Comprehension Questions: Students answer the questions from the chapter in complete sentences
Quotations: Students identify the person speaking
Discussion Questions: Questions to discuss aloud
Enrichment Activities: A variety of activities that may include composition, copywork, dictation, research, mapping, drawing, poetry work, literary terms and more that can be completed as time and interest allows

A Mastery Word Review is included after every 5-6 chapters of reading.  There is also an appendix of Nautical Terms.

The other guides are similar in format to Treasure Island but have different study focuses.  Tom Sawyer's guide contains questions on vocabulary, comprehension questions, quotations, and focus passages.  In the focus passage students are asked to find a certain paragraph and answer questions about it.  It also has an instruction page on how to mark a book.  The Wind in the Willows has the student writing short notes on character/places in each chapter as well as answering vocabulary and comprehension questions.  Discussion questions and activities are also included and focus passage questions.  The As You Like It guide starts out with a character log.  For each assignment the student will answer vocabulary questions and comprehension questions.  There are also quotes that they have to tell who is speaking, you the speaker is speaking to, the situation, the meaning, and the reactions. Each assignment also has 3-5 journal prompts. 

The Memoria Press 8th Grade Literature Guide set is a wonderful literature program.  There is a good variety in the books that are covered and they will appeal to both girls and boys. The study guides will challenge students minds and teach them to think about what they have read.  The program is flexible allowing you to go at your student's pace and include additional activities or not completed all of the activities as you see fit.  The student can work independently with very little guidance needed from the teacher.  The Teacher's Guide makes it easy to check over the student's answer because the entire Student Study Guide is included in the Teacher Guide.  

I know as a homeschool teacher I don't always feel completely qualified to teach certain things.  One of those things is Shakespeare.  Even though we have not yet started The As You Like It Study guide, looking over it gives me complete confidence in covering this play.  Memoria Press has done a great job making even difficult subjects each for the homeschool teacher to teach.  

The Teacher's Guide does not include a schedule.  Teachers will need to decide how much they want their students to accomplish in a period of time.  You will also have to have a copy of the books. Memoria Press does offer them for sale, or you can purchase or borrow your own copy.  I bought mine on Kindle so Nick could read it on his tablet.

The work is challenging and does take a good amount of time every day, especially if you want your student to read the chapter and answer all of the questions every day.  We had to take a slower pace with ours and have had my son read 2-3 chapters per week and answer some of the questions.  After finishing Treasure Island I am planning on him completing the rest of the guides next year and will be counting them for a high school credit.  If your child is not a very strong reader, you may want to go down a grade for your literature choice.

Members of The Crew reviewed several different grade levels of Literature from Memoria Press.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!
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