For me it's 'do your chores' and do your dailies. What are dailies you ask? Dailies in our house consist of "do your smarts, your reading, math and Veritas Press materials". These are done every day except for Fridays when we change things up.
I was talking with a mom the other day and she asked "What are those smarts you talk about?"
- They keep my lad practicing skills daily especially his math and English.
- They keep him humbled as sometimes he runs into things that he doesn't know and therefore has to ask questions.
- They provide Canada content and context for him. So instead of learning about some American figure in the States, he'll read about Wayne Gretzky and the Canadian Hockey hall of fame, or about Banting and his medical research right here in London and so forth.
- Since they cover the expected Canadian Curriculum I don't have to wonder if I am missing something that he's expected to know.
- There is sufficient practice of new skills. With ample room to write the answers.
- They are short enough that my son has no issues completing them daily.
Most of the books, like the English and Science are workbooks that my lad works through one day at a time. Clear easy to do pages with pictures that add to the lesson rather than detract.
1. they are too easy - after all he has mastered some concepts already, or
2. they aren't done right.
For instance, today he was doing the food web, and instead of having the arrows go from the predator down to the prey, they reversed the arrows which goes against what he's learned about the food web previously. I actually don't mind them doing this as it shows how different people can have a different perspective on how the food web works (or any concept for that matter). It's a good way for him to think things through and figure out why he agrees or disagrees with something.
Other times I'll hear a "MOM! Did you know ______________" sometimes followed by.. can you show me more about that on YouTube? And so we look it up. Lately though I find he's looking more things up independently on YouTube. Which is good for his independent learning, but not good for my learning something with him. :)
Here's one we watched:
When we started the Grade 6 English Smart book my son noticed they expected more reading of him this year. I can't say he was a huge fan of that aspect, but as the year goes on I find that what he is learning comes through in what he talks about, and he's learning a great deal about Canada.
The Math Smart Guide book is quite different from the other two dailies of English and Science.
It comes with a Parent Guide along with a Student Work Book.
Now these two books are rather neat. Each of the 11 sections is colour coded, and they match those sections up between the student and teacher work books.
For the purpose of the review I received these three books for free, you can learn more about that them through Popular books. The MathSmart Guides are only available at Scholar's Choice.
Math Smart Guide.
We use also use: Complete English Smart 6 and Complete Math Smart 6 also published by Popular books.
Amazon links can be found below. These are affiliate links, which only serve to bless my family.
Complete MathSmart 6 (Revised & Updated): Comp MathSmart 6)
Complete EnglishSmart 6 (Revised & Updated): Comp EnglishSmart 6)
Complete ScienceSmart 6
Final Verdict...should you use the smart books in your home?
Yes, if you like having children have easy to access learn and practice skills books.
Yes, if you want your children to start working independently.
Yes, if you want to help your children master particular skills they may be struggling with.
Smart books work in this household, they just might work in yours as well. :)