My last review I shared about my search for a grammar text that would finish our study of grammar. I found Our Mother Tongue, and I am pleased with the way it teaches grammar. But, it doesn’t include sentence mechanics. (There is an appendix for the topic, but I don’t find it adequate.) It doesn’t address topics such as where to put commas, semi-colons, and quotation marks; or how to correct sentence fragments and run-on sentences. I realized that I wanted something extra that would provide review for those English topics.
I decided to try Editor in Chief by The Critical Thinking Company. This turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. Each lesson consists of a short passage. The student must read through the passage, find the specified number of errors, and make the necessary corrections. (Sample page)
It has turned out to be a great fit for my almost 12 year old son. He’s at the age where he’s always finding mistakes anyway, so I’m finding this is a great way to put this (often annoying) tendency to good use. Good editing skills are vital to good writing, and I like the way this requires more thought than an assignment that simply instructs the student to put the commas in the correct place or to capitalize all the necessary words. In editing, the student has to find the mistake and figure out why it is wrong in order to correct it.
I would NOT recommend this product for a student that did not already have a good understanding of the concepts. As I mentioned in my previous review, my son was demonstrating that he did understand grammar and sentence mechanics. Editor in Chief provides a way to test if a student can apply his knowledge at a higher level, while reviewing important concepts. This would not be the way I would recommend learning new material. I think that a student should spend time initially in studying correctly written sentences.
The only negative about this product is the price. My son will complete both of the B level workbooks this year. At $17 each, that’s pretty expensive for a supplement. But I was encouraged to see my son enjoying his work for a change, and decided that it was worth the extra expense to us.
Written by Kristen, Neo-classical mom of 4. Kristen blogs at A Day in the Life.