English Lessons Through Literature (Original version, Christian content)

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"Through literature" is the operative phrase in this series. Its what you would expect, after all, of a series incorporating a Charlotte Mason approach to language arts skills. Together the teacher and student travel through literature - poetry, well-loved books, fables, and stories. You pause along the way, of course, taking time to appreciate the story and learn the grammatical structure of the English language, giving the student opportunity through copywork and some narration to become immersed in quality writing models. Picture studies complement the literature and provide the means for students to put their thoughts into words and develop their observation skills. Just for good measure, the author has included some memory work - grammatical lists and definitions. Taken altogether, the result is an easy-to-use, holistic approach to English that is thoroughly consistent with Charlotte Mason, and yet meatier than most programs with a similar bent. It also has a more updated "feel" than many CM language programs even though many of the literature selections are "timeless" (i.e. a little old-fashioned).

The five levels currently available can be used for grades 1 through 6. These volumes are designed for the teacher and provide three lessons per week for 36 weeks (108 lessons per level). Each lesson follows a similar format. In each level, whole books are provided as read-alouds, with chapters to be read daily as the first lesson item. Fables, stories, excerpts, and poetry are also regularly used. Occasionally, the student is asked to think about something from the reading, but the author avoids comprehension questions. Next is the instructional nugget (probably the best description particularly in Levels 1 & 2). In the upper levels, the "nugget" is something more like a "chunk." Systematic grammar instruction starts in Level 2 and is pretty impressive, covering everything from punctuation to parts of speech to types of sentences and includes diagramming in Levels 3-5. In fact, in Level 2 and up, the lesson title reflects the grammar covered (i.e. #38 in Level 2 is titled State of Being Verbs; Review: Pronouns) leaving no doubts about the general grammatical scope and sequence. In Levels 4 & 5 there is an appendix that provides additional writing lessons for older students. The author also provides a free download full of worksheets that can be used with any level for extra practice. The appendices in each book include valuable information - memory work lists, a segment on the correct use of words, diagramming references, and sometimes literature passages.

There is very little teacher prep in using these books. You will want/need to get a copy of the read-aloud books and make a copywork master (StartWrite font software would be a help with this.) Thats about it! The daily lessons are pick-up-and-go. Full-color version of the black and white pictures used as picture studies are available on the authors website, so you may want to provide access to those just to make the whole study more enjoyable for both of you. Your student will ultimately be compiling a notebook to include copywork, definitions, exercise. (The author sells downloadable PDF notebook pages from her website.) Although prep is minimal with these courses, the daily lessons are based on teacher-student interaction.

You can probably tell that Im enthusiastic about this series. Its well-constructed, easy-to-use, has a strong emphasis on literature and an equally strong emphasis on systematic grammar and mechanics. Level 3 begins to introduce writing instruction, so that is covered as well. You only need to add phonics/reading instruction and perhaps spelling (the author encourages the use of a personal spelling journal) to have a well-rounded approach to English and Language Arts. ~ Janice

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English Lessons Through Literature Level 3 - 8.5" x 11" Item #: 006016
Grades: 3-4
Retail: $35.00
Rainbow Price: $27.95

English Lessons Through Literature Level 1 large (8.5 x 11) format Item #: 059072
Grade: 1
Retail: $25.00
Rainbow Price: $20.25

English Lessons Through Literature Level 1 & 2 - 8.5" x 11" Item #: 006008
Grades: 1-3
Retail: $45.00
Rainbow Price: $35.50

English Lessons Through Literature Level 5 - 8.5" x 11" Item #: 006033
Grades: 5-6
Retail: $50.00
Rainbow Price: $39.50

English Lessons Through Literature Level 4 - 8.5" x 11" Item #: 006027
Grades: 4-5
Retail: $45.00
Rainbow Price: $35.50

English Lessons Through Literature Level 2 large (8.5 x 11) format Item #: 059073
Grade: 2
Retail: $30.00
Rainbow Price: $24.50

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