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Kumon Writing – Grade 1 is the first in Kumon’s writing workbook series. I used it in our homeschool with both of my older boys for their first grade year.
Kumon Writing Review
The Kumon Writing – Grade 1 workbook contains 36 lessons (two pages each) that cover writing and grammar topics with increasing difficulty, starting with some vocabulary and ending with very basic story writing. The last two lessons are review, and an answer key is at the back of the book.
While this is purportedly a writing workbook, I felt that it was more of a grammar workbook with a nod to writing. So I actually used it as part of my students’ grammar instruction.
In the note to parents on the back of the front cover page, it states that the workbook is designed for students to work in on their own. However, the reading level required to even read the instructions was beyond even my advanced first grade reader. Abstract concepts, like “first-person singular verbs” (introduced in lesson 19), also precludes this workbook as both independent work for a first grader and maybe as appropriate for a first grader at all.
Thanks to the colorful drawings and simple activities, my students did enjoy this workbook for the most part. And once they became accustomed to the types of activities included in this workbook, they were able to do some of the work independently. But the inconsistent difficulty level throughout the book and some advanced topics made me question its effectiveness.
This will be an open-and-go workbook for most. But it could be helpful to plan an activity to introduce grammar topics as they appear in the workbook (i.e. pronouns).
Due to the amount of reading required on each page and the difficulty level of the reading, it could take a first grader a solid 20 minutes to complete a lesson.
To whom would I recommend Kumon Writing?
- Students that do well with Written Word learning methods since so much reading is required and concepts are introduced via text on the page.
- Students that prefer Independent learning since this workbook was designed for students to work on their own.
I would NOT recommend to…
Students that have a strong dislike for learning via the Written Word and instead prefer learning via the Spoken Word. Parents can give verbal instructions, but since this workbook is designed for independent work, it does get a bit awkward and tedious.
My Best Tips for Using Kumon Writing
- Decide how you want to schedule this workbook. For example, you could schedule for your student to work out of it three times a week and complete it in a semester, or once a week and supplement with related activities.
- Plan ahead for hands-on activities to solidify difficult-to-grasp concepts.
- Consider your student’s reading level and comfort with abstract concepts. It may be preferable to use this “Grade 1” workbook with a second grader, instead, although some concepts will still be a little above their heads.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Kumon Writing
Kumon Writing – Grade 1 is, in general, a low-stress and low-prep grammar choice for a parent, but that convenience should be balanced with the expected effectiveness for a particular student.