This 316-page (plus answer key) workbook is the third book in
the Language Smarts Series by The Critical Thinking Company. It
is intended for students in grade 3. The publishers state that
it can be used as a core curriculum or a supplemental resource,
and I would concur. It does cover all of the basic concepts taught
in language arts instruction in the 3 rd grade. If you wanted a
different approach or an alternate scope and sequence, you might
wish to use this workbook as a supplement on a particular skill
weakness or to reinforce certain concepts that needed more practice.
However, it would be sufficient for most students to use alone.
The full-color worksheet pages are engaging and stimulating. The
graphics are fun--realistic and yet with a comic element that children
will find interesting. The different sections of the workbook are
bordered with different colors. The paper is heavy and will withstand
a heavy-handed pencil or eraser with no problem. One problem The
Critical Thinking Company has had with these lower elementary level
workbooks in the past is that the paper was glossy and almost impossible
to erase. This has been remedied, and this paper will not pose
that hurdle to the erring child.
The comprehensive coverage of language arts skills included in
the book will satisfy all but the pickiest of home educators. Concepts
covered include word elements (syllables, blends, roots, suffixes,
contractions, etc), sentence elements (parts of speech), punctuation,
word usage (articles, homophones, commonly misused words, similes,
metaphors, etc), writing elements (fact, fiction, inference, comparing/contrasting),
story components (titles, plots, setting, characters, sequence,
etc), and writing a research paper. Throughout the book, Editor-in-Chief
pages give the student practice in applying the concept being taught
and a chance to see if they can catch misuses of the various concepts.
This book retails for $39.99, which may seem somewhat expensive
for a workbook. However, this workbook can be used as a comprehensive
3rd grade language arts curriculum. So if you like a workbook
approach to language arts, this might be a good solution for you.