I've been looking for a book like this for Cassia for a long time—a book that gives instruction in a clear way, while engaging her, and allowing for free writing.
Well, I think I have found it!
This book is intended for year 4 over there, as you can see from the cover, but with her dyslexia, The Girl is a bit behind. I actually think, in looking through this book, that we will get through book two in half a year, and then we can tackle book three, so she'll be "catching up".
We got it in the mail from the UK yesterday, and she was eager to give it a try. I read the introduction out loud, and she laughed, which is a good sign, right? I then moved on to lesson one, in which we read the beginning of Snow White, and then she was to answer comprehension questions (which you can see here if you click on Sample Pages). She did very well with that, though we did the work verbally rather than writing answers. She was thrown for a bit of a loop though, when the book asked what she thought the story would be like if the beginning was set in summer! We thought perhaps the queen would have had to have asked for a daughter with hair as gold as sunshine, eyes as blue as the summer sky, and skin as white as rose petals.
The final task for the day was to use a dictionary to look up several words. I have a children's dictionary, but we decided to use our regular, though rather elderly, one. The Girl hasn't used a dictionary before—I know, I know, but we were focused on reading—but she very quickly got the hang of it, and found all the words needed, reading the definitions aloud.
Today we'll be learning some interesting facts about snow, and then next week she gets to launch into some creative writing. They have four writing prompts, out of which I have selected three, which will keep her writing all week: continuing the story either in the traditional fashion, or coming up with her own story line; writing a short description of a beautiful place; and writing an acrostic poem using the word "snowflake". She loves poetry, so I think the last especially will be a big hit.
Upcoming exercises in Lesson 1 include a lesson on nouns, spelling, sentence ordering, more creative writing, copywork, and so forth. It seems to be (as I looked through the whole book last night) varied enough to really keep her interested!
I'll be updating my review later in the year, as we get a chance to go through more of it, but so far, so good!