Learning Language Arts through Literature is based on the educational philosophy of Dr. Ruth Beechick and her natural learning method as outlined in her books, "The Three R', "Language and Thinking for Young Children, and You Can Teach Your Child Successfully. The curriculum is authored by Susan S. Simpson, a teacher, author and publisher and Diane Welch, a homeschooling mother of five, who is an avid reader and lover of fine literature.
Learning Language Arts through Literature Green Book is a comprehensive language arts curriculum which teaches spelling, reading, grammar, composition, research and study skills, and higher order thinking skills, creative expression and penmanship. The authors have chosen real books which are the back bone for the curriculums book studies. Real Book selections include: Star of Light, Adam and His Kin, and Much Ado About Nothing. Literature passages from real books such as Black Beauty, The Borrowers, Devil in Print, Eight Cousins, and The Story of the Treasure Seekers are utilized for copy work and dictation. The Green Book includes four units: Everyday Words, Poetry, Short Story and Research. Learning Language Arts through Literature incorporates creative expression activities such as creative writing, oral presentation and poetry into the daily lesson plans.
The instructors guide is comprised of easy to use lesson plans spanning a period of 36 weeks. Each lesson is made up of the following components: New Skills Taught, Materials Needed, Scripted Lesson Plan, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Answers, Examples, Diagrams and References to the student activity book. The Skills Index is an easy to use reference for the teaching parent. Assessments allow the teacher to evaluate the students progress. Review activities follow the lessons to provide the student with additional skills practice. Placement tests are available online at the Common Sense Press website.
As a home schooler, I have perused several language arts curricula. I cannot praise this curriculum enough! Learning Language Arts through Literature receives an A+ from this homeschooling parent!
This is only my second year of homeschooling, so we had been searching for something we could stick with and this is it. Concise and easy to follow with great reading, although they could maybe be at a little higher reading level. We will be using the 8th grade book for next year along with the WordSmith.
I really wanted to like this curriculum, especially considering the rave reviews and its literature foundation. However, my son complained on the first day of school that it was way too easy. The large print makes the book appear to be designed for much younger students. The recommended spelling lists are extremely short and too easy for a seventh grader. My son does not want to rewrite the literature passages from dictation, nor can I see the point in making him do so. Unfortunately, the dictation takes up a whole page for each lesson. To avoid the complaints, I instead have my son mark the parts of speech or diagram the sentences in the literature passage. I became disillusioned with the teacher book when I found two spelling errors in the introduction! The pages in the teacher book don't correspond to the pages in the student book, which makes it difficult for me to plan the day's lesson without looking in the student book for the correct page numbers. Most of the books needed for this curriculum are not what I would consider classic works of literature. One of the quoted books is out of print and difficult to find, and I recommend not trying to find it. Several of the books listed in the bibliography are about creationism, which seem out of place in a literature-based language arts book. The concept behind this curriculum is good, and has so much potential, but there needs to be more depth and content than I find in The Green Book. I am having to supplement this curriculum with other language arts books, and find other works of literature for my son to read. It has become a lot more work for me than I intended!
Lessons are well marked out. They are a nice size for one day and a good variety. Some of the instructions are not the clearest, but maybe that is just us since it is our first year with them!Binding makes it difficult for kids to manage. This would be much better as a spiral bound. When you have the binding cut off to place in the 3 ring binder, the prepunched holes get cut, rendering them uselss. But, if I am going to get the binding cut off, then I would rather get a spiral bound than put in a binder - spiral bound is more sturdy, and less expensive than having to buy the binder.