Review of 7th grade Language Arts BJU

Language Arts for 7th Grade

Short version: I highly recommend this thorough program! The 7th grade Writing and Grammar, Explorations in Literature and Vocabulary A work together to give your students the tools they need to evaluate written literature biblically, improve their written communication skills, and improve their word usage. The books list supplemental resources if you need it and all the prep work is done. On day one, you teach lesson one, etc. So the value of that kind of complete curriculum was worth every penny to me. You can see their curriculum here:

Themes for Literature

Hello this is Elizabeth Estelle, Homeschool Christian Mom and thank you for joining me as I review this 7th Grade Literature curriculum from BJUPress Home School so I’m going to be talking about their Vocabulary Level A. The Writing and Grammar that has a baseball theme and then the Explorations  in Literature and we’ll get started here. So the Vocabulary A is a small book it can be done in one semester or through the whole year. We usually did it in a semester and it would be one page twice a week to just get through in a semester and the emphasis in the vocabulary book is

  • on the principles of where did English come from,
  • what do common prefixes and suffixes mean
  • how can we just discern the meaning of a new word from what we already know about it.
  • So it differentiates between specialized and general meaning using context clues with good supplemental activities.
  • There’s a comprehensive index in the back of the book and
  • it has activities throughout so to supplement
  • if you need it or you can just stay with what’s on those pages and I found that this was a very good preparation later for the pre-college SAT and/or ACT tests.

The Vocabulary book is A but of course it goes A, B, C, D, E and F, all the way up through 12th grade. They say some books you can switch which one you do which year like E and F can easily be interchanged but they don’t recommend interchanging C and D because of the progression in the books.  So in Vocabulary Book A you’re mostly talking about Latin roots, in Book B Greek and then C, D, E and F go on from there and expand the knowledge and etymologies of the words.


The Grammar book is a separate book. It has a CD in the back and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting the Teacher’s Edition because there are so many more resources in the Teacher’s Edition. If you just get the student text you’re only getting about one third of the information.

The CD has rubrics for helping you grade papers and also supplemental materials for the text. You might say,  “Well, we already speak English. Why do we need to study Writing and Grammar?” We speak English every day but the grammatical terms and concepts are largely familiar to you so there’s an emphasis in this book on the orderliness of language plus it includes a writing component.

The writing assignments include informative writing, personal narrative, descriptive writing, creative writing, persuasive writing and report writing and it makes sure that your students know that as you talk or the way you would write with your friends or talk with your friends would be different than the formal writing that they’re talking about for essays or a personal story.

Surprise: An Art Activity

I really like that in chapter one to introduce writing they actually have sort of an art activity.  They create a book jacket. Now book jackets used to just be for protection from dust and dirt but now a book jacket is a lot of advertisement, isn’t it? So even though we say “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” that is what we often do when we’re looking for a book and looking for something that looks good to read or judging it by its cover. So it gives your students an opportunity to create a book jacket.

 The book includes a section in the Writing and Grammar on using troublesome words correctly- not just spelling them but in usage. I thought that was very important and I found that this format helped my children do well on standardized tests at the end of the year and then later when they needed to get into college.

Categories for the Literature

For the Explorations and Literature book there are different sections. They (the sections) divided them by categories:

  • courage,
  • nature and man,
  • generosity,
  • our land,
  • humility and
  • family.

Explorations in Literature are foundational concepts necessary to the study and appreciation of literature, emphasizing the application of scriptural principles in our literature.

Why are we reading what we’re reading?

Are we reading good wholesome things?

Then, there is a whole section in the teacher’s book of how to address objectionable elements in literature. Not all the stories have good characters that do the right thing but all those plots and protagonists are talked about in the light of Scripture. So what makes a good moral tone for a book? Well, the good guys win and the bad guys lose and sin is also always portrayed as evil.

These books differ from their public school counterparts.  I remember in public school having to read some literature that was very disturbing and it didn’t have a good moral tone and  it was just troubling. These books and all of the BJU Press homeschool books do not do that. You can feel confident that your children are reading a good material and are looking at it through the lenses of Scripture.

The Exploration in Literature book also comes with a CD and these CDs  you can look through them in 10 or 12 or 15 minutes to see what’s there. They’re not like so extensive that it’s overwhelming but they do contain a lot of extra things:

  • enrichment writing worksheets,
  • rubrics to help you grade short answer quizzes,
  • ESL tips,
  • reading and vocabulary word lists
  • bulletin board ideas

I like how they introduce the writing projects. You can introduce them on Monday, require a rough draft by Wednesday, the student corrects it on Thursday and can hand it in on Friday. Their writing lessons are organized in a logical step-by-step process so it should not be frustrating for you or for your student.

Your Children Will  Enjoy These Stories

These stories are for your young women and young men! The very first story is “It Was a Dark and Dreary Night,” This first story is of two boys camping out at night. One boy doesn’t want the other one to know he’s afraid of the sleeping out in the dark at night.  The other boy doesn’t want the anyone else to know he’s afraid of bats! There’s some comedy in the tale but it also has some serious elements about how you work with your friends.

Get the kits!

Do you need all of these books? I would highly recommend you get the complete kits with the Explorations in Literature, Writing and Grammar and the Vocabulary because they all like a team:  well-integrated together to work together!

Tests and Answer Keys

These tests are well-written!

  • It’s not all short answer.
  • It’s not all multiple choice.
  • It’s not all essays.
  • It’s well mixed together so your student learns to think critically.

Bonus for Literature:

I hope this has been helpful. I’ll put my link below in the comments. It would be great if you could buy through my link for the BJU Press Homeschool. And I hope you have happy homeschooling and join me on Facebook Homeschool Christian Mom or I have very helpful articles at and I’ll have a blog article that will go with this as well in a little while. Thank you so much for joining me if you have any questions put them in the comments and I’ll answer them later.

Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links and if you click on them and purchase I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Let’s connect!

I post recipes that our family actually eats! Why? Because no matter how good a homeschooling day you have, you (usually) still have to make something for dinner! I hope you enjoy these recipes.

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Review of Footsteps for Fours: BJU Press Homeschool

I’m so excited to be reviewing the Footsteps for Fours curriculum! Easy for mom and exciting for the 4 year old, this one box curriculum has a lot to offer: the skills you are teaching are clear, the materials you need are listed, the teaching methods are well-presented, and there are LOTS of enrichment activities.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for details. Continue reading “Review of Footsteps for Fours: BJU Press Homeschool”

Homeschool: Notebooking Pages

I’m happy to introduce you to Mama K and her Notebooking pages. I have enjoyed her devotionals.  Now more from Mama K:

We love using Notebooking Pages!

**Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.**

We use Notebooking Pages from Productive Homeschooling, formerly known as Debra Reed has done an amazing job creating these pages and they are a big hit in our family! The reason I love using the notebooking pages in our Homeschool is because they give Kool Kid Number One and Kool Kid Number Two the freedom to write.

What do I mean by the “freedom to write” ?? Let me start from the top (insert giggle here)….Shayla and RJ both spent the first few years of their schooling years in the school system. Shayla (KK#1) is currently in Year 4 and was in Public School in Reception and Years 1, 2 and 3 were spent in Private School; RJ (KK#2) is currently in Year 3 and he spent his first 3 years of schooling in Private School. We are on our second year of Homeschooling and it has given my kids the opportunity to flourish in their own special and unique way!

Children are unique and need to be able to express themselves

Shayla is a bookworm, loves to write, is very, very smart and she will happily sit for hours either reading or writing. RJ is also a very, very bright kid but he doesn’t really enjoy writing or sitting for long periods of time, hence why he struggled sitting in a classroom all day. He also likes to do things a certain way and craves the freedom to do so – in a school setting all students have to do things the same way and in the same time frame. RJ couldn’t cope with this but Shayla, however, was quite happy to just do exactly what the teacher said to do.

Give kids the freedom to write!

So, now to my point! The first couple of times we used the Bible Notebooking Pages. We read the story of Cain and Abel in The Action Bible and when I gave the kids their pages they looked at me waiting for instructions. I told them to retell the story in their own words. Without hesitation, RJ began writing!

I was amazed because of his history at school!

This made my heart so full!

With my own eyes, I watched a 7yo boy, who really struggled at school, write the entire story in detail! He even wrote about the mark of Cain (WHOA!) and the difference in their offerings! I was blown away and so proud of him! And so thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to Homeschool with these Notebooking Pages!

Give kids the opportunity to grow in their creative thinking

Shayla, on the other hand, really struggled. Now, this was also a shock to me and absolutely blew my mind! Shayla was the all star child who got straight A’s and B’s (yes, they give A’s and B’s in Year 1 and 2 report cards nowadays!), was always a pleasure win the classroom and never struggled. But on this day, she did.

She looked at me baffled.

She just sat there.


I was confused.

She asked me again, “What do you want me to write?” So I explained again, “just re-tell the story in your own words.” And the next sentence that came out of her mouth stunned me! “Ok, but what do you want me to write? What do I write?” I asked her what she would do at school if she had to do writing and she said that the teacher would just either…

A) tell them what to write


B) give them 3 choices on the board and they pick one

I realized in that moment that Shayla was almost like a robot – she didn’t know how to think for herself. That crushed me! So, I had to explain it to my very bright 8 yo bookworm again, just write the story of Cain and Abel in your own words.

Watching kids struggle is hard

I watched as she sat there for a few minutes thinking and then she asked to read the Bible again…she read the story over and over for the next 5 minutes before she began to write. Eventually, she didn’t know how to put the story in her own words so I had her do Copywork. I couldn’t believe what just happened! The child who was the ‘struggling child’ at school was just smashing out these ideas, thoughts and words, while the ‘star student’ was lost for words!

Now, a year later (after using Notebooking Pages!!) Shayla can write pages and pages of work in her own words without the struggle! And RJ has learned that his own special and unique way is just as important as the teachers way! They have both learned how to think for themselves and grow in their creative thinking and writing! All because of Productive Homeschooling and their Notebooking Pages!

And these pages are not limited to older children – Kool Kid Number Three and Kool Kid Number Four also enjoy using Notebooking Pages! Ava is in Reception and enjoys using the Alphabet Pages and also likes to join in with the older Kool Kids!

If you want to give your kids the opportunity to be creative, click on the images below to check out Productive Homeschooling!

Or click this link here >>> See what Notebooking Pages are available

You can sign up for free and get some of their resources or you can sign up for $10 a month min. and get access to a whole lot more! There are a couple of membership options and they are all worth it!!

Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

Love and Blessings,

If you want to connect with me, Elizabeth Estelle, Homeschool Christian Mom, here are some links below:

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