Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Review: Memoria Press

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review
Have I mentioned how much I love the review opportunities I am getting from my "job" with the Schoolhouse Review Crew! Such fantastic products to review, and this one is no different. This time I had the opportunity to review StoryTime Treasures Student Guide and Answer Key for grades 1 and above. This is a product produced by Memoria Press which provides classical Christian education for all ages. 

StoryTime Treasures by Memoria Press is written by Highlands Latin School teachers Mary Lynn Ross and Tessa Tiemann. The idea behind this product is that first graders are ready to read real books -- not just controlled vocabulary readers. They believe that these books more fully capture the imagination of children and motivate them in their reading lessons. 

I truly had never given this concept a lot of thought. While I do really like the Charlotte Mason philosophy of reading that more is not better (and instead, quality is better than quantity), if I am being honest, I think my general idea every day is to just get my kids reading. It doesn't really matter what they are reading. 

However, I am really seeing that this is not the correct response toward reading. Just like adults, kids want to read things that interest them. They want to read good pieces of literature. Classics. And StoryTime Treasures by Memoria Press is exactly that. An opportunity to read and study high quality pieces of literature and expand upon them.

In my case, I was able to obtain all five of the books that correlate with StoryTime Treasures from my library as I was only given a copy of the Student Guide and Answer Key.

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review

However, your purchase of this product includes a copy of each of the books. Just having these books in your library is worth the $40 cost of this product! 

Spending $40 on this product means you are obtaining four classic pieces of children's literature for about $8 a book. That isn't even taking into account the awesome Student Study Guide and Answer Key that is the main part of your purchase. Each classic book has from 8-16 pages of workbook questions that go along with each story. The books that go with StoryTime Treasures are pictured above and are as follows:
  • Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
  • Little Bear's Visit by Else Holmelund Minarik
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Each story features age-appropriate lessons on vocabulary, spelling, composition, capitalization, and punctuation. There are even some lessons on quotation marks, putting items in order, or an opportunity to color. What I really like about the units is that they are set up in such a way that skipping a page is no big deal.  For example, I haven't taught quotation marks to my first grade boys yet. So I simply told them to skip that page and not do that particular assignment. You could, of course, use that as an introduction into a lesson on quotation marks if you wanted as well.

Because this is a consumable resource (a workbook that once written in, cannot be reused), I decided to have my boys do different stories so I could get twice as much review done. Both boys were able to do this very easily. In the end, they each did read and answered the accompanying workbook questions for two books each. Most of the questions were ones they were able to answer without help from me, but I especially loved that they were challenging enough that they sometimes had to return to their book to look for the answer.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this product. The price is very reasonable. The idea is very simply. And the instructions are very clear. If your child is able to read, then I think this product would work for them. (I do think some Kindergarten students could easily do this and that it would also be appropriate for children in 2nd or 3rd grade as well.)

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review

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