English Lessons Through Literature (formerly Language Lessons Through Literature

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"Through literature" is the operative phrase in this series. It's 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 as well as Scripture. You pause along the way, of course, taking time to appreciate the story and learn the grammatical structure of the English language (very well, by the way, and with a fair amount of depth), 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 (not sure if we'll be seeing more) can be used for grades 1 through 5 or the upper levels could be used with an older student (i.e. middle school). These volumes are designed for the teacher and provide three lesson plans 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. The instructional nugget is next and "nugget" does seem like 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 parts of sentences 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 which can be used with any level for extra practice. The appendices in each book include valuable information memory work lists, 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.) That's 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 author's 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 I'm enthusiastic about this series. It's 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 5 - 8.5 x 11" Item #: 006033
Grades: 5-6
Retail: $50.00
Rainbow Price: $39.50

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 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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