The classical method of homeschooling has always been our primary approach and Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) and Simply Classical Writing Book Two: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) from Memoria Press has complemented that in our homeschool. We recently had the opportunity to review these books from Memoria Press and, as usual, they are great!
We love Memoria Press and have used many parts of their curriculum in our homeschool. You can read our reviews of First Start Reading, First Form Latin, and Classical Greek. We received the Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) and Simply Classical Writing Book Two: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) with Teacher Key.
The Simply Classical Writing is part of the Memoria Press Special Needs curriculum — the Simply Classical Curriculum. They have an entire line of materials that they have been specifically designed for students with special needs. Some of the materials include everything you need to homeschool your student.
Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) has 34 weeks of lessons and is intended for the 1st through 3rd grader. It introduces basic sentence writing and incorporates copywork, sentence rules such as capitalization and punctuation, noun/verb introduction, and basic composition. The workbook is consumable and, along with your favorite Story Bible, is everything you need for the lessons. The lessons focus on Bible stories from Genesis through the New Testament.
Simply Classical Writing Book Two: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) builds on the basics that are learned in Book 1 but move on to more advanced grammar rules, expands upon nouns and verbs and introduces pronouns and some more advanced grammar. There are 34 weeks of lessons in Book 2 as well. The Bible stories cover most of the Bible as well such as Creation, Jesus, Daniel, and Ruth to name a few.
The Simply Classical Writing Book 2 Teacher Key provides question answers and sample answers as well as additional explanations of what needs to be covered. There is no Teacher’s Guide for Book 1. The lessons are intuitive and easy to work through and there are Teacher’s Notes at the beginning of Book 1 that explains how to teach, what to do each day for the 4 day week of lessons, and commonly asked questions regarding the curriculum, such as if its too difficult or too easy and what to do.
The Bible Stories are basic such as “read the story of Abraham” making it easy to use your favorite Bible or Bible Story book. However, if you wish to use the provided guide included in the Appendix, you can use A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories and find the story and page numbers to go along with the lesson.
Once you have read through the Teacher’s Notes, you can start teaching the lessons. The Teacher’s Notes lay out the plan for each of the 4 days to go through each lesson. Each day you read the Bible story and then do some of the workbook activities to finish everything by Day 4. The lessons are pretty easy and after reading the Bible story and then doing the activities, the lessons typically do not last more than 20-30 minutes, though they could take longer if you are discussing the Bible story more in depth.
Each lesson begins with the name of the lesson (“Abraham”) and then gives what the teachers and student should be working on each day. For instance, Learn the Rules, Apply the Rules, and Write the Rules. In Learn the Rules, the teacher explains the rules that are being used in the lesson regarding grammar and sentence structure or capitalization or end marks. Next the student applies the rules by using red, green, and blue colored pencils to identify the rules in the sentences that are provided. Lastly, the student Writes the Rules by writing out sentences utilizing the rules learned.
One of the activities to build on the connection between reading comprehension, sentence structure, and the Bible Story is to draw an illustration about the Bible story and then writing a sentence explaining the drawing. This gives the student the opportunity to be a little creative about the story they heard and then write a sentence utilizing the rules they have learned to explain what they drew. The student is prompted to follow the rules learned in the directions.
Overall, the lessons are concise but complete. They provide a great introduction to sentence structure and grammar rules. Learning about nouns and verbs is introduced in Book 1 and expanded upon in Book 2. Other than a Story Bible, which you can use whichever one works for you, you have everything you need in the workbook to teach the lesson and work through the concepts.
If your student is not a fan of copywork, this is a good “small dose” of copywork without lots of writing. Integrating English grammar with Bible study is nice. You can do as loosely or as deep as you wish with the incorporation of Bible study.
Overall, we really liked the lessons. My son loves Bible stories but does not love copywork. This was the right amount of copywork to be able to work through without having to push too much to do more.
As usual, Memoria Press hit this one out of the park with a great basic grammar study that gives enough substance to be a great stand-alone curriculum but does not dig too deep to lose the interest of the student. If you have a student with special needs this curriculum is great. Concise and complete but not too overwhelming. We will definitely be continuing with this book as our grammar study next year.
Be sure to see what the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about several of the Memoria Press curricula like Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition), Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words, The Wars of the Jews set. and The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set. Click on the banner below to read their reviews. And be sure to check out Memoria Press on social media too!