One of the English resources that I am using with my son (who would be in year 5 if he attended school) is the Schofield & Sims Understanding English range. I discovered this series when my daughter was in Year 6 and we used a few of the workbooks with her and I was really impressed so I have kept this range for my son. The range of workbooks is split into the following:
The Understanding range series is not written for a specific year (eg x workbook for year 5 and y workbook for Year 6) but rather they focus on one topic per workbook. So we tend to use all the workbooks but we don’t cover every page in every workbook in one year. We will look at a section in the Punctuation book, then do a page from the Spelling book possibly a page from the Grammar book. We jump around a bit between the books, with the broad aim that we would have covered everything by the time he finishes his Year 6.
We have used the Fiction and Non-Fiction books a bit differently. Last year we used the Fiction workbook over a term and worked our way from the first page all the way through. Both my kids were wanting to focus on their creative writing so it just made sense to do the whole workbook with my son in one go. And we have recently done something similar with the Non-Fiction book (although we are not quite finished with that one yet). Using these two as more stand alone books was just down to what suited our family and the topics that my kids were covering in their home education.
All the workbook are written in the same format. At the top of the page there is a brief explanation and then it is normally followed by a couple of activities and there are answers at the back. The explanations are always concise and easy to understand and the activities well thought out. Both of my kids have found these books useful and easy to use independently.
So what is covered in the Vocabulary book?
- Understanding word meanings
- Using a dictionary
- Root words and word families
- Prefixes and meanings
- Collecting words, word showers
- Choosing words
- Using a thesaurus
- Shades of meaning
- Choosing words for effect
- Formal and informal words
- Old words and new meanings
- Forming new nouns
- The origins of words
- Idioms, Similes and Onomatopoeia
- Using your vocabulary
My personal opinion is that the vocabulary book is better suited for kids in Year 5 and or Year 6 (but that is really dependent on the kid).
We have found that the activities in the vocabulary book mixes well with some of the pages out of the spelling book and we have also used some of these pages with completely different English Literature and English writing activities that we were doing. They really don’t need to be used in isolation.
My aim is to complete all of the activities by the time my son has completed his Year 6 (I am saying this because I want to stress that I am not trying to work through every page in every workbook in one academic year).
I bought our Schofield & Sims Vocabulary book from amazon – Understanding English: Vocabulary: KS2 English Study Book, Ages 7-11
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