Memoria Press has an excellent reputation among classical homeschoolers. While this is not our typical style of learning, I find value in exploring a variety of curriculum styles with my girls. This provides variation and increased interest in topics and also gives them a chance to learn in a different way. Beth was excited to review Nature’s Beautiful Order because she aspires to be a veterinarian and this particular course covers the animal kingdom. This beautiful set comes with a reader, a student guide, and a teacher key. The three components make for a simple to use, classically oriented teaching tool for sixth through ninth grade students. It may also be used as a supplement to a high school biology course. Beth is advanced in her studies and reading at a high school level, so I correctly assessed that she could handle the course without any trouble as she finished up her 4th grade year. I would say if you have an advanced and self-motivated upper elementary student this would also be a good fit.
Because we take a science course outside our home studies, I explained that this was like taking an extra class for fun to learn about animals since she has a driving passion to become a veterinarian. She was really excited about this. I had her read a chapter on Monday and work on a few questions each day, using the book to look for the answers.
Beth is not a fan of writing in complete sentences. This is something I do require her to do, but when she found out she was going to have to write in complete sentences for me, she wasn’t thrilled. I appreciated that I could show her in the teacher’s guide how a complete sentence should look for review. This is a necessary skill that is so important for students and can get easily overlooked while homeschooling because so much of what we do can be accomplished more easily when completed orally. At the same time, if you have a student who has learning struggles and difficulties which make writing a bigger ordeal than you want to tackle, you can easily have students respond aloud.
Working as we did through one chapter a week, this was very manageable for Beth. Learning to look for answers in the text is another skill on which she needs some work. The chapters are not excessively long and this makes it a great way to practice this particular ability. She spent about 15 minutes a day on the assignment which was bite-size enough not to frustrate her.
I love teacher guides because when I’m teaching multiple levels it helps me be able to check answers quickly without having to go back over the material. Not all teacher’s guides are excessively helpful, but all of the guides from Memoria Press have full answers presented in the same format as the student guide is laid out. This means fast grading and I’m all about saving time!
If you are looking for a course to help your students learn the natural ordering of the animal kingdom this is an excellent choice. It uses classic texts and source material to present the information in an orderly manner.
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