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LandaBooks -- Great Supplements for All English Skills
301 H Knollwood St, Suite 157

Click to visit the web site
Winston-Salem, NC 27103

4 Volumes: The Landa List; The Dirty Thirty; The Writing Process; Word Clusters
-- all written by David Hatcher and Lane Goddard
by Michael Leppert

A broad command of English is like nothing else. When one has a powerful grasp of the elements of our language -- grammar, spelling, punctuation, a large vocabulary, word usage, it imparts a sense of confidence and ease of communicating that is worth more than gold. Even one who occupies a "lower" station in life elevates himself in the eyes of others when he can speak intelligently and authoritatively. Conversely, one who may be highly intelligent and educated diminishes his reputation by possessing a limited vocabulary or repeatedly misusing words. Not only is a mastery of English essential -- it is also one of the most daunting topics of study for any student (and parent)!

However, LandaBooks provides instant aid to the anxious parent and student of English, with an excellent series of supplemental books that every homeschooling family should add to its library as soon as possible. Four of the titles are listed above and each one provides an insight into a different area of our dear, but sometimes maddening, language. The authors, David Hatcher and Lane Goddard, teach English skills to adults and they understand what is required and valued in the "real world."

The Landa List is 48 pages of "Grammar Guidelines, Punctuation Principles and Proofreading Practices" It is a slim, easy-to-carry volume that provides quick information. Speed of use in such a concise stylebook is an important aspect of its value. No one will make much use of a weighty tome, covering seldom-used information, while burying that which is most often needed. This little book solves such a problem by allowing the user to go right to the information needed.

The Dirty Thirty - This is one of the most intriguing and valuable books I have seen in years. It deals with 30 of the most-often misused word-pairs in English. It doesn't simply list the words, but offers beginning "tests" of them, and follows with exercises to strengthen one's knowledge for all time. [To my chagrin, I found that I have been misusing a word all of my life -- in the first five minutes of perusing The Dirty Thirty, no less!] This is an indispensable reference book to keep close at hand and study until you are comfortable with your knowledge of these words!

The Writing Process - This is subtitled "Tools for Everyday Writers" and it will serve that purpose well, but such a book is also very useful for the not-everyday writer, such as the marginal writer who must face the new SAT exam or who applies to a college that requires an on-site essay as a major portion of the process. Communicating one's thoughts on paper is typically much easier than verbal spoken communication, but it still requires an understanding of the necessary skills, plus regular practice, so that when one is faced with a situation such as a spur-of-the-moment writing assignment, one can perform with ease, skill and confidence.

Word Clusters - Subtitled, "Building a vocabulary that works for you." This is another small (90-page), easy-to-use volume that the user can carry anywhere and refer to at a moment's notice. Hatcher and Goddard provide prefix and suffix information, teaching the student how to de-code our language, so that even when encountering a new word, if it has a Latin or Greek derivative, it can be "guessed" at, and more often than not, the guess will be correct. Of course, Word Clusters does not aim at creating skilled guessers, but in building powerful vocabularies for its users, and it covers words about time, money, health practitioners, sciences and much more.

LandaBooks 's website offers sample pages from all four books as well as many other ever-changing English resources, such as a weekly vocabulary quiz (with past quizzes available). Please visit it for much more information.

If you wish to provide your child (and yourself) with a straight-ahead, comfortable English supplement, LandaBooks products are perfect. They will never go out of fashion, providing many years of use to the entire family. MjL