Review: Beyond the Book Report

 

Although I had heard of Analytical Grammar, I was unaware of their newest program called Beyond the Book Report.  I found out that I was chosen for this review while at our local homeschool convention and I was excited to talk with and get a picture of the contributing author, Erin Karl.

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Beyond the Book Report was developed by Erin and her mother, Robin Finley.  This mother/daughter team has a passion for grammar and literature!  Beyond the Book Report is geared toward middle/ early highschoolers.

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Season One: ($24.95)  Covers following a rubric, conflict, point of view, climax, protagonist, antagonist, paraphrase, summary, elements of the plot, mood and tone, setting, genre, headline, byline, dateline, inverted pyramid, lead, objectivity, and bias.  It includes three projects: The Basic Book Report, The Pamphlet Book Report, and The News Article Book Report.

Season Two: ($24.95)  Covers alliteration, metaphor, hyperbole, simile, personification, stanza, rhyme scheme, verse, sonnet, haiku, limerick, dialogue, monologue, cast, props, staging, aside, blocking, comedy, drama, farce, and melodrama.  It includes two projects:  The Poetry Book Report and The Drama Book Report.

Season Three: ($24.95)  Covers the personal essay, literary essay, SAT essay, the DOs and DON”Ts of giving an oral presentation with slides, and how to write a research paper.  It includes three projects:  The Essay, The Oral Book Report, and The Research Paper.

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Each season is available separately or you can purchase all three seasons in the Beyond the Book Report Bundle for only $69.95.  We were so blessed to receive the complete bundle in exchange for our honest opinion of the curriculum.  Originally, I was only expecting to get Seasons One and Two, but Erin and Robin generously gave us the entire program!

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Included in the bundle is a teacher packet with a detailed guide and a suggested step-by-step schedule. Also included are student examples and several glossaries of terms.  I hole-punched the packet and put everything into a binder.  Three DVDs contain video instructions, lectures, activities, and assignments.  The introductory video explains the curriculum thoroughly.   To begin Season One, all you need to do is choose a fictional book for your student to read, print off the handouts, follow the plans, and watch the videos when assigned!  Erin and Robin even included detailed rubrics are to help the teacher assign a grade if wanted.

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I have really missed reading aloud to the kids so I decided that we would do this review together.  That way we could discuss the literary terms, watch the videos, etc. and work as a team on the assignments 🙂 .  I chose to read Surviving Jamestown – The Adventures of Young Sam Collier (historical fiction) by Gail Langer Karwoski since Ryan will be studying US history in the fall (and Brendan could always use a little review).  It was a wonderful book and perfect for boys!

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The printouts are colorful, have lines for the students to take notes, and have fun cartoons to help reinforce the literary terms.

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I really enjoyed working through the program together as we read aloud.  We could stop while we were reading to talk about the characters, come up with questions for our crossword project, etc.

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Using “the dog ate my homework” excuse literally 🙂 !

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There are videos included as part of the curriculum that correspond with the printouts:

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Although the videos are very informative, we found them to be somewhat “dry”.

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We chose to create a crossword puzzle as one of the assignments:

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Here’s a glance at Season Two:

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I appreciate how Beyond The Book Report provides suggested schedules depending on what grade your student is when they start the program!

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Even though we didn’t get to Season Three, I read through it and it looks great!  It is set up so that it can be a “stand alone” program for those who don’t have time to complete all three seasons.  I definitely plan on having Brendan work through it since it covers writing essays (including SAT essays), oral reports, and research papers since these skills are essential for college bound students!

Although this not particularly a “fun” curriculum, the boys learned a lot from Beyond The Book Report.  I appreciate how the curriculum guides the teacher through step-by-step and that it covers a wide variety of topics including book reports, poetry, drama, essays, etc.  Click the Schoolhouse Review Crew picture below to see what others thought about Beyond The Book Report.

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Check out Analytical Grammar on theses social media sites:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/analyticalgrammar

Twitter – http://twitter.com/AnalyticalGram

 

 

 

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