First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Level 1

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Level 1

# 013644

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Item #: 013644
ISBN: 9781933339443
Grades: 1-1

Product Description:

A sampling of topics covered for first grade includes nouns (common, proper), days of the week, pronouns, capitalization, seasons, days, months, holidays, verbs, addresses, dates, and an introduction to sentence types. 188 pgs. paperback.

Category Description for Grade/Level 1:

The first book of this series authored by Jessie Wise, co-author of The Well Trained Mind, is based on Lessons in the Use of English by Mary Hyde (which, when edited by Cyndy Shearer of Greenleaf Press, became English for the Thoughtful Child). Jessie Wise believes that children as young as first or second grade are capable of learning the correct use of language; it's just a matter of if and how the material is presented to them. After all, she says, if you believe in exposing your children to quality literature before they have begun to read proficiently [which most of us do], why shouldn't we expose them to the sounds and sights of correct language and grammar usage? Although at this age learning these rules will require a lot more patience on both the part of the student and the teacher, learning it the right way early on is a huge step towards learning proper English and grammar rules later in life. Although it sounds like a big job, her books are very straightforward and easy-to-use.

The author's goals for this series include: 1) training student's ears to be attuned to the sound of properly spoken language, 2) training their speech to the correct use of grammar, 3) having their attention sharpened by asking them to narrate parts of a story back to you after hearing it aloud, and 4) using correct language in writing.

Starting in second grade they should be able to copy short sentences properly using grammar and punctuation and be able to write short sentences both from dictation and on their own, again using proper punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. Sounds like a lot of work to get to that point, right? True, it will take patience and a lot of practice, but the author has included four important tools in your toolkit to help you through this process. Her "Four Strand" approach relies on using memory work, copying and dictation, narration, and grammar to help both you and your student reach these goals. Memory work begins with the child memorizing and reciting short definitions and rules to reinforce the sounds of correctly spoken sentences as well as short poems to discover the enjoyable rhythm of language and continues through the elementary grades with rhymes and rules and longer poems. First graders will be copying short sentences, but copying sentences from dictation is withheld until second grade when children's motor skills and their "feel for" language are stronger. Narration exercises alluded to earlier include story narration where a short story is read to the child and he or she is asked to recite in complete sentences the story in their own words back to you or to answer comprehension questions about the story in complete sentences. Picture narration exercises are also used, where the student will observe a picture and describe it using complete sentences. Grammar, the last tool in your kit, is taught early on by giving the child definitions of the parts of grammar - reciting the rules and using them in speech and in writing as much as possible. These four strands are continued through the levels with increasing complexity and length.

Although previously levels 1 and 2 were combined, the publisher replaced the combined version with two separate levels in 2010. FLL Level 1 and FLL Level 2 cover first and second grade, one level per year. They are designed to accompany separate phonics, spelling, and penmanship lessons. There are 100 lessons in each book - the 200 lessons in the combined volume have been neatly cut in half. The lessons tend to be very short, with the topic printed at the top of the page and other items to review underneath. The structure of each lesson is easy to follow with different fonts denoting notes for the teacher, what the teacher might say to teach the concept, and something similar to what your child may say in reply to a question. Though it is not necessary to follow the script exactly, it gives an example of how you may wish to teach the lesson. Each lesson takes up only a page or so, and most of them contain oral lessons to complete together, such as answering questions or focusing on narration of a story, picture, or a poem to memorize. Memorization exercises are reviewed for days after the initial exposure, and the child is encouraged to recite poems to themselves and to an inanimate object before working up the courage to present it to his family. Following the lesson enrichment activities are often given, although it is up to your discretion and the ability of your child to determine if you will have them complete these or not. Often these ask for the child to illustrate the prose studied or to copy part of a lesson out in writing. These are more advanced than the exercises in the lessons and were included for the more precocious children to complete if they so desire. A sampling of topics covered for first grade includes nouns (common, proper), days of the week, pronouns, capitalization, seasons, days, months, holidays, verbs, addresses, dates, and an introduction to sentence types. In second grade, verbs, contractions, adjectives, commas, letter writing, prepositions, and interjections are covered, along with extensive review of the topics covered in first grade. Although this may sound heavy for first and second-graders to handle, don't worry, everything is broken up into manageable morsels easier for them to digest and remember. The key is in repetition and practice, and the author reminds us that if it is our intention to take a lengthy break from school, such as summer break, then we should still keep up with the lessons, ideally covering one or two a week so that everything you've worked so hard on up to this point isn't half-forgotten and recovered with a struggle the next year. The Audio Companion CD (which combines levels 1 and 2) provides theater-quality presentations of the fun poems, entertaining stories, and memorable rhymes found in the books. There are also some original songs to aid memorization of the parts of speech.

Level 3 and higher of this program continues the basic components, but in addition to the teacher manual, a consumable workbook is provided for the student's work. The four teaching goals remain the same, and the authors (Sara Buffington is co-author) continue to weave the lessons with the four strands: memory work, copying/dictation, narration, and grammar. There is also a continuation of the scripted teaching approach using the same type formatting as the first book. There are 89 lessons in Level 3 plus three short (7 lessons each) optional teaching sections: writing letters, dictionary skills, and oral usage. A sampling of the topics include: eight parts of speech, forming plurals, linking & state of being verbs, four types of sentences, parts of a sentence, comma usage, quotations, and contractions. Diagramming is introduced at this level. As in the 1-2 book, grammar concepts are introduced and reinforced through the use of rhymes and rhythmic chants. [Just a note on these, you might want to practice these a bit ahead - I experimented with the one on state of being verbs and found it to be a bit tricky in terms of rhythm. I wouldn't have wanted to be trying it out for the first time with my student. I'm thinking there would be more entertainment than learning in that "lesson."] The course can be completed in one year in about 30 minutes per day and 3 days per week. Workbooks provide some lesson examples, copies of the memory work pieces, and space for diagramming as well as for the copywork and dictation exercises. The pages are perforated and 3-hole punched so they could be filed in a binder. Level 4 provides a continuation in both format and content and covers a full range of grammar topics including parts of speech, punctuation, sentence diagrams, and skills in beginning writing and storytelling. Optional end units provide practice in dictionary use and letter writing.

There are so many things to like about this program that one hardly knows where to begin. It's easy to follow and use, the instruction is comprehensive and thorough yet gentle, teacher prep is at an absolute minimum, all learning styles are addressed, and last but not least, underlying the entire program is a love for the beauty and structure of our language. - J.L / J.P

Category Description for COMPLETE ENGLISH PROGRAMS:

These materials offer complete coverage of both writing and grammar.

Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Jessie Wise
Softcover Book
Brand Name
Peace Hill Press
1.05 (lbs.)
11.0" x 8.5" x 0.38"
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Why did you choose this?
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recommended by a friend
Bailey W on Mar 24, 2023
recommended highly by several friends
Elizabeth K on Mar 7, 2022
recommended by a friend
Bailey W on Mar 24, 2023
Recommended in The Well-Trained Mind
Brianne G on Jun 20, 2022
recommended highly by several friends
Elizabeth K on Mar 7, 2022
Pete P on Aug 6, 2021
Required by our Christian classical school
Gary N on Aug 2, 2021
Esther C on Jun 15, 2021
We usually stick to Charlotte Mason curriculum, but I wanted to introduce some grammar concepts sooner. So this is our choice!
Hansen H on Jun 12, 2021
recommended by other homeschoolers for this age
Becky L on Mar 23, 2021
The lessons look organized and easy to follow. I will be learning as well!
Caley Z on Mar 18, 2021
For my kids.
Fenggang L on Aug 27, 2020
Recommended by a friend
Jennifer C on Aug 16, 2020
Thought we should try easing in to grammar this year
Halee B on Aug 9, 2020
Thought it was a gentle approach to grammar and the English language
Domine P on Jul 28, 2020
As recommended by the Well-Trained Mind.
O S on Jul 27, 2020
simple yet complete
danielle b on Jul 20, 2020
Recommended by many homeschool friends.
Lindsey B on Jul 5, 2020
This was recommended to me by a friend as an approachable way to introduce young children to grammar and language arts. The lessons are quick and effective.
Michael H on Jun 10, 2020
Required for classical school, grade 1.
Abby H on Jun 9, 2020
Recommended by the Welltrained Mind book. I'm interested in using this with my child!
Heidi S on May 26, 2020
Gentle introduction to grammar, Charlotte Mason friendly.
Emily B on May 5, 2020
This is a portion of the first grade home school curriculum selected.
Kristien B on Dec 31, 2019
It is part of our University-Model School curriculum
Maggie M on Sep 16, 2019
Homeschool coop class requirement
Adrienne B on Sep 5, 2019
We have used it in the past, but it didn't survive our most recent move. It works well with all our children.
Lacy R on Aug 28, 2019
Advised by Janice in the "Curriculum Specialist" department! She was absolutely amazing, and probably spent over 2 hours with me - including staying an hour after her finishing time on a friday!!! (And I only realised that was the case because I asked her!) She was so patient and kind, and really took the time to listen to my heart and learn about our family so that she could offer options she thought would be a good fit for us. So grateful for her help!
Tanya E on Aug 15, 2019
Excellent and simple way to introduce children to literature, parts of speech and correct grammar in speech and writing. Lessons are short and require very little time or work.
Hannah H on Aug 5, 2019
Friend recommendation
Michaela W on Jun 8, 2019
We really like Jessie Wise's "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading." The classical approach just makes sense and covers all the bases.
Nicole L on May 27, 2019
I want to make sure my children are learning the foundations of language arts.
Alicia D on Apr 12, 2019
referral from a friend for homeschooling
Ellie C on Apr 9, 2019
A wild jump into helping my little fella who has apraxia of speech. He is struggling with sentence structure, building his vocabulary, and such. Also I am thrilled to find quality materials that do<br /> NOT include phonics instruction. Some of "us" need a different approach.
Martha L on Mar 21, 2019
I want to give my son a good and solid foundation to teaching grammar using the Classical and Charlotte Mason methods, and also that the lessons are not supposed to take a great deal of time to teach.
Linda T on Dec 23, 2018
Sophia T on Nov 30, 2018
great classical material
naomi a on Sep 21, 2018
needed it for co-op class
emily h on Sep 10, 2018
I've always been interested in trying out these language lessons. I've read the Well Trained Mind and classical homeschool my children so I hope these lessons will be a great addition.
Mikael B on May 21, 2018
To add in early years in conjunction with Classical Conversations and AAR curriculums. Like how it dives a bit deeper into the grammatical concepts to explore many of the english elements we memorize each week in CC.
Megan G on May 16, 2018
Great series
Natalie S on May 11, 2018
I want to start incorporating some grammar into our language arts curriculum (we use All About Reading to reading and really love it!).
Lori P on May 9, 2018
friend's suggestion
Rina J on Mar 8, 2018
Encouraging reviews.
John C on Dec 27, 2017
Jacob W on Aug 16, 2017
Directs the teacher on what to say
Olga O on Aug 10, 2017
My friend recommended it, I like the poetry, memorization and combination of Charlotte mason.
Emily H on Jul 3, 2017
We took this out at the library and I liked the progression of the lessons. I like the Well-Trained Mind philosophy over all.
Christina O on May 31, 2017
Highly recommended
Dominic U on Apr 29, 2017
We love First Language Lessons! It's great, quick, and our child loves it!
Matthew H on Apr 21, 2017
I have been using First Language Lessons with my daughter and I am really happy with this curriculum. I gave away a copy and needed to replace my book.
Genevie D on Mar 2, 2017
Recommended by friends, and it really fits the model of classical education we are pursuing.
Michael P on Aug 16, 2016
AnaLisa G on Aug 14, 2016
Recommended in The Well-Trained Mind
Brianne G on Jun 20, 2022
Pete P on Aug 6, 2021
Is this the second edition?
A shopper on Jul 8, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes, this is the 2nd edition with a 2010 copyright.
does this require a teachers manuel?
nancy on May 6, 2018
BEST ANSWER: No, open and go. I only wish that it contained Christian content.
Does this require the accompanying CD?
Amanda P on Nov 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It does not, we did find the cd helpful for poem memorization as my son could listen to it on repeat while I worked with my younger daughter, cooked lunch, etc.
4.8 / 5.0
17 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Great way to really know grammar and how to use it.
Took bigger concepts and broke them up into a cake walk! So thankful for how easy and memorable this book is. Seems redundant at first but when your little kids know not just what a noun is but they can remember to write a proper noun with a capital and a common without… you know they’ve learned how this information actually works out in writing. Amazing!
October 25, 2022
11 months ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Simple and easy grammar lessons
Love how simple and quick the lessons are. Perfect for my Kindergarten and 2nd grader.
July 31, 2022
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
First Language Lessons
This book has been wonderful. It’s very approachable for young ages. We use it during our morning time. My kids are 7, 6 and 4 and they really enjoy it!
September 21, 2021
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Nice book
We are in the first few lessons and I like the amount of information per page and how it is easy to understand.
September 14, 2021
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Fantastic Grammar Book
We are really enjoying this book. The lessons are quick and simple but effective and engaging.

My son wasn't enjoying our previous English curriculum. I wanted something with a bit more formal grammar and less physical handwriting. This fits our needs perfectly.
January 19, 2021
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Don’t look any further.
Love love love it!
December 14, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 3 out of 5
Way too repetitive for us
I like the approach and explanations, but this level is so very repetitive. My son lost interest quickly. He can certainly define a noun though. :)
November 18, 2020
Rated 5 out of 5
Gentle but academically strong.
These lessons are so nice and short for my 1st grader. Even though they take us may 10 minutes to go through, he is learning so much.
November 13, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 3 out of 5
Easy Intro to Grammar
I bought this to use with my first grader and I think it's a little easy for her. I have an older child whom I skipped this one with and went straight to the FLL2, despite the recommendations not to. I do like the poem memorizations and gentle intro to parts of speech but there are lessons on writing your first name, writing your last name, writing your middle name, etc. and they seem a little basic to me.
November 6, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Go for it!
I really really like this approach. We went through some, but putting it up for a while.
I would recommend it for sure.
September 18, 2020
over 4 years ago

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