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Language Arts Companion: English Grammar
software review by Lori Deese

Are you looking for a simple, straightforward, easy-to-use program to teach English grammar to your students? Do your students love using the computer? Then Core Learning’s Language Arts Companion could be just what you’re looking for! Consisting of a series of four CD-ROM programs, each level targets a specific age group. (They can also be used as enrichment at a lower grade or for remedial instruction at a higher grade.) Each level comes complete on one CD-ROM, which took me only a few minutes to install and run on my computer. The user instructions are clear and easy to follow so that older students can load, run, and use the program with little or no help from a parent or teacher.

In addition to the CD-ROM version, the courses are also available via an online subscription. The courses are identical, but you have 24/7 access from any computer with an Internet connection.

Each program follows the same basic format, making it easy for students to progress from one level to the next. The student logs in using his real name and a chosen password. The “progress report” screen then lists each lesson down the left column, followed by columns showing the student’s progress, scores earned so far, and which lessons or quizzes have been passed or need review.

As the student moves through the lesson, instructions are read aloud as well as displayed on the screen so the student sees and hears what is being taught. A practice worksheet for each lesson is available to be printed off, and answers can be checked by clicking the “review answers” button. When the lesson is complete, the student takes a quiz on the computer and is able to print off a progress report as well as a certificate of completion.

Since the program keeps track of what work has been done, how much time has been spent on each lesson, and what scores were earned, the parent/teacher has very little work to do. The student can work fairly independently, but the teacher is able to check his progress at any time. The lessons in this series appear to be complete and accurate, are user-friendly for both the student and the teacher, and use current examples and illustrations to hold the student’s interest.

Core Learning English Grammar is a fantastic way to incorporate technology into your homeschool while covering the basics of English grammar instruction. The lessons are short and to the point, yet they thoroughly cover this very important subject.

 

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