Constructing the House of Language is a 178-page softcover workbook that reinforces language arts concepts for high schoolers. The six units are broken down as follows:
Unit 1: The 8 parts of speech as foundational building blocks
Unit 2: The sentence as part of the "architecture" of language
Unit 3: The structural design of the paragraph
Unit 4: Spelling
Unit 5: Word Origins
Unit 6: Glossary and charts of Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes
This product is both a review workbook and a miniature textbook. Designed for grades 9-12, the workbook can be simply a review tool or a means of filling in gaps in knowledge. To evaluate the retention of skills presented, "CheckQuizzes" and other review exercises are included at the end of each unit. Activities include multiple choice, sentence completion, acrostics, crossword puzzles, and more. Some exercises provide a writing topic and then allow the student to write in an open-ended style, according to his or her personal opinions or conclusions. In all, more than 60 exercises are included, and all the answers are in the Teacher's Edition. The reading materials include pieces from Booker T. Washington, Helen Keller, Geoffrey Chaucer, Woodrow Wilson, Alfred Tennyson, and more. The program is not designed specifically for homeschools, but it is easily adapted for homeschool use.
Our homeschool found Constructing the House of Language very easy to understand and implement. The exercises offer excellent variety as well as educational information. Topics like the testing of the early telephone, preparing a research paper, growing vegetables, and the history of the English language are informative, adding value to the program. The reading materials include many fantastic authors and cover a broad range of history. The open-ended writing assignments offer ample opportunities to explore opinions and raise discussions with your child. I particularly appreciated the glimpse into my daughter's mind that these activities provided. The list of frequently misspelled words is very helpful for any age, as is the commonly confused words list. Various analogies, examples, and graphics throughout the book help students to grasp concepts that are often misunderstood.
Color coordination of the various parts of speech is used at the start of the program to aid in recognition. However, we found some of the colors difficult to differentiate. The pink and red were too similar, and so were the purple, dark brown, and dark purple color choices. This product might not be a good fit for families that do not enjoy textbooks or workbooks, but our family was able to blend the exercises into existing studies without difficulty. The price is adequate, but we were disappointed that the student workbook is consumable, as we prefer to reuse curriculum.
Language arts is a subject that some students find difficult to grasp. Constructing the House of Language can help these students more fully understand the workings of the English language. And this course can benefit every high school student by reviewing skills that are necessary for communicating well in the adult world--an essential part of the education of our children.