From Our House to Yours
In Their Sandals and Rod & Staff English… a winning combination in USI!
In Heart of Dakota’s U.S. History I (USI), the English III credit includes a combination of literature, grammar, composition, and vocabulary. Today, I want to take a closer look at the composition and grammar parts of the credit. In USI, the creative writing course In Their Sandals is alternated with the first half of the grammar course Rod and Staff English 8. So, students use each of these resources two times each week. Two of our sons have used these resources now, and I am happy to say we have found them to be a winning combination!
What makes these two resources such a winning combination?
Now, you must be wondering what makes these two resources such a winning combination! Well, this combination works well because the first half of R & S English 8 covers expository, persuasive, narrative, and descriptive paragraphs; outlining; writing compositions; proofreading; researching; note-taking; and developing oral and written reports. When it comes to clear-cut, systematic writing that can be applied to oral/written assignments for virtually any school subject, R & S English cannot be beat!
However, In Their Sandals fills another need by beautifully by taking students step-by-step through the writing process and teaching elements of literature and composition along the way. Students are expertly guided to write in various styles and in different points of view. They learn how to take notes and to write from those notes. Likewise, they learn to summarize narrative stories from varying viewpoints, as well as summarize using multiple references. They conduct research for reports, epistolary writing, and creative writing, as well work through the writing process of researching, prewriting, outlining a lot, developing descriptions, and writing, applying, and revising. Not only does In Their Sandals address often neglected areas of writing, it also pairs beautifully with Starr Meade’s New Testament Survey, which is used for the Bible credit in USI.
My Son’s Latest In Their Sandals Writing Piece
My son, Riley, handed in his latest In Their Sandals writing piece to me recently. I confess, I did very little to help with this. In fact, he was pretty much solo on this, other than me spot checking his work along the way. Well, all I can say is I was in tears by the time I was done reading! Happy tears! In this writing piece, Riley became Joseph and wrote journal entries on his brothers’ betraying him by selling him to the Egyptians as a slave. He really put his heart into this, and I truly felt like I was reading Joseph’s journal! As I finished, I thought how glad I am Riley is having a Christian education – the kind where God is welcome and present in a very real way every day!
So, this is why these two resources are such a winning combination! Both are Christian. But, one tugs at your heart, and the other makes sharing what’s on your heart transfer well to paper. Though there are some errors, and I gave some leeway due to this being a journal, I thought he did a great job overall! I still gave him an “A+” – I am the teacher, right?!? Thanks Heart of Dakota for keeping Christ front and center! Thanks also for building strong writers! May our children take what they’ve learned and go out and change the world – for His glory!