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5 Stars Out Of 5
Language Arts the Natural Learning Way
April 4, 2014
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 the late Debbie Strayer, a homeschooling mother, teacher, author and public speaker, and Susan S. Simpson, a teacher, author and publisher.
Learning Language Arts through Literature Purple 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 curriculum's book studies. "Real Book" selections include: "Farmer Boy," "The Trumpet of the Swan," "Meet Addy," and "Caddie Woodlawn." Literature passages from "real books" such as Mr. Popper's Penguins," "David Livingstone, Foe of Darkness," "Strawberry Girl," "Amos Fortune, Free Man," and "Color the Classics" are utilized for copy work and dictation. The Purple Book includes three units: Speech Making, Poetry, Oral Presentation of Folk Tales and Tall Tales.
*Learning Language Arts through Literature incorporates creative expression activities such as choral reading, family tree, interviewing, memorizing, role playing and speech making 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 student's 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 homeschooler, I have perused several language arts curriculums. I cannot praise this curriculum enough! Learning Language Arts through Literature receives an A+ from this homeschooling parent!
LLATL is so simple that at first glance one may think it could not possibly be thorough enough for the task. All I can say is that I wish I had discovered this simple method years sooner for some of my children! If you are a Charlotte Mason methodology follower, you will love the focused/concise lessons. If you are a parent of several children (like me) you will love the simplicity and the ability to group students together to go though the curriculum. Though the Colored books are recommended for a certain grade level, it is the skills your children are acquiring and you may begin where you need to and work your way through them.
Regarding the short spelling lists: rules to spelling are taught and incorporated into the lessons. I am amazed at how the simple lessons help the student apply the rules to other words. (My non-speller child is "getting" and self-correcting spelling now.)
I cannot say enough about the dictation and fun oral exercises incorporated in the lessons. Since we did not begin this habit at an earlier age, I was surprised that by the end of the book the children were able to take the dictation with few mistakes! Poetry writing and tall tales writing was one of the favorites of the children. The literature selections, of course, were excellent and engaging as well. The kids would argue over who was to read out loud if mom was not available!
I already have the next set of LLATL ready for the next year!
My son and I tried an online program this year and we both hated it! I thought it would make things easier and more interactive for him, but that was not the case. We both love LLATL. My daughter is in the red book and she loves it as well. It is so easy to use and the activities are fun and teach everything they need to know. My only complaint is you have to have the student book cut off the binding because it is hard to write in otherwise. The teacher book could also be spiral bound to make things easier but as far as content, it is the best I've tried.
These are, by far, my favorite language arts books. They encompass grammar, composition, spelling, reading - all in one. They also break down lessons which, for us, we do weekly. LLATL has made literature so much fun!