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: https://www.bjupresshomeschooling.com/site/include.php?id=35_21

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.

Grammar

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 homeschoolchristianmom.com 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.

You might also like: Rich Tomato Vegetable Soup to Keep You Warm and Keep Away the Munchies

Warm and Comforting Spinach Artichoke Dip

No More Repetitions with 3 Sanity-Saving Tips to help your homeschool day go better!

Homeschooling Art: Pattern Project

This picture is an example of a scene partially rendered with patterns to be used as an example for students.

Regular Moms Can Teach Art!

YOU can teach this art project! Sure you can. . . your students like to do art projects and just need a little nudge in that direction. All of a sudden their creative talents will kick in and wow! some art will be happening.

Project supplies: Bristol board or some other sturdy paper, 8 x 10 size, pencils, erasers, Sharpie or other black markers in regular and fine tip

This pattern project is a nice place to start. It is a 2 week project, a total of about 1 hour each week.

This project starts with some talk about patterns. For the first class, the student is instructed to come up with 12-16 ideas for patterns. We used paper from our copier and drew these with a black marker. My pattern paper looked like this:

Then we chose a subject to draw. For younger students, a fish works well. For older students (4th grade and up), I allow them to choose the object or scene they want to draw. Of course, some ideas will work better than others.

The drawing can be a scene, an object like an ice cream cone, or a vase of flowers. They need to finish the patterns and their drawing in about an hour. This would complete the art class for week one.

Use bristol board or some other sturdy paper cut to 8 by 10 inches for their drawing. They can draw in pencil but then they should go over their lines with a black marker. *See FAQ’s below.

Teaching tip: At this time, use your copier to make two photo copies of their drawing before they start filling in any patterns. One copy is in case they want to start over and the other is in case they want to do a second project with colored markers.

The second class is for filling in their picture with the patterns they have drawn. The second class should last about an hour.

Use permanent black markers in various thicknesses to fill in their drawing with various patterns. I like to use regular Sharpies as well as the fine-tip version.

  • Do they have to use all their patterns? No, but they should use 9-12 patterns.
  • Can they use black and white spaces, too? Yes, I let them.
  • Can they use color? I recommend doing the first project in black and white. If they want to do a second project with color, use the copy of the picture they made. (See teaching tip above.)
  • What if it doesn’t look very good to me? I ask my students, Did you do your best? That’s what God expects! If not, let’s start over.
  • How can this be displayed? You can frame it or cut out the object and mount it on colored construction paper.

Last step: Have each student sign and date their picture: Susie Doe ©2022

Bonus:

I don’t know how your week went but my husband painted our main bathroom this past week. That means it was taken apart, moved around, got new trim and paint and is now being put together. I could say it was an inconvenient week but I’m going to say, “Wow! I love the bathroom with the fresh paint.”

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Isn’t it wonderful that we are new in Christ? We are not just painted over, but new from the inside out!

New Life in Christ by John W. Peterson

New Life in Christ! Abundant and free!
What glories shine, what joys are mine,
What wondrous blessings I see!
My past with its sin,
The searching and strife,
Forever gone, there’s a bright new dawn!
For in Christ I have found New Life!

Gym idea: The President’s challenge is a good February idea for gym class. With an emphasis on flexibility, strength, and coordination, the tasks for this challenge are different enough from most sport activities to capture students’ interest. You can find more information HERE.

Mom: Help! Any suggestions for activities for the kids to make it through the winter blues of February? or a muddy Spring?

Every. Single. Homeschooling. Mom. is wondering the same things . Seriously can’t wait for spring to get here so we can go outside regularly.

EVERY homeschool mom needs some extra ideas to get through February. Don’t get “blue” like this little pup! Click here for some new ideas to help you!

Bonus: If you or your child (junior or senior) is interested in learning free-lance video editing for weddings, make sure you contact my friend Sarah Rosendahl at SarahRose04@gmail.com to take her class. This class is good for a side-hustle for moms to bring in extra income or for students! If you want more information about Sarah, you can read here.

And just for FUN, here’s a couple of reels from this past week: Let’s RaceGiraffe in the Nursery, and The Puzzle.

If you need some homeschool mindset coaching, let’s chat! Let’s create a plan tailor made for your family. Email me at homeschoolchristianmom@gmail.com.

Chickpeas and Tomatoes

 

Chickpeas and Tomatoes

This simple side dish goes great with curries!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup V-8 juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • coarse salt
  • ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 2 medium halved and thinly sliced onions and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to soften, 8-10 minutes.

  2. Add 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1 can diced tomatoes with juice, 1/2 cup V-8 juice and 2 tablespoons tahini. Simmer until thickened but still saucy, 8-10 minutes.; Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper; top with fresh cilantro.

Recipe Notes

We enjoyed this with our curried chicken!