In planning for the upcoming school-year, I took the plunge and decided to try 3 new language programs. I intend to use them consistently and completely, but if we don’t love them, we won’t use them the following year. From what we’ve dipped into so far, I’m confident these will be a good fit for my kids. The lessons certainly stray from Montessori ideals (as embodied in an elementary-level language album.) Yet I chose them because they are intentionally “classical,” of very high quality, comprehensive, and broken down into many small, manageable chunks.
First Language Lessons are workbook-style grammar books which depend upon scripted conversation with the parent/teacher. I’m going to use Level 1 (100 lessons) with my 1st and 2nd-graders. The first half requires no writing; the second half requires some copywork. I will use Level 3 (110 lessons) with my 4th-grader. This level requires the purchase of an additional workbook.
Writing With Ease is not a hand-writing program, but a writing-style program. (We will continue to use Italic workbooks for hand-writing.) It consists of a whopping 36-weeks worth of lessons for each grade, with 4 assignments per week. Again, I’ve decided to use Level 1 with my 1st and 2nd-graders, and Level 3 with my 4th-grader. I like that the lessons in these books are based on classic literary choices and primarily request narration, copywork, and dictation.
The Ancient History-Based writing lessons from the Institute for Excellence in Writing consist of 22 writing assignments focusing on improving writing style and vocabulary. I’ve long been a fan of the IEW, and this program will over-lap some of the ancient history we are studying this upcoming school-year. It is only for my 4th-grader, and since he is not yet a prolific writer, we may need to abridge some of the lessons as we go along.
Our 2012-2013 school-year will consist of 40 weeks, beginning August 13th and ending May 17th. I have mostly-finished plotting out my goals for all subjects on a spreadsheet; they are quite aggressive and will require adjusting if we get the flu (again.) Here is the portion showing my goals for using WWE, FLL, and IEW:
[button link=”https://helpingchildrenlearn.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wwefll.pdf” style=”download” color=”silver”]Schedule for FLL, WWE, and IEW[/button]
I hope to stop back at this post in a few months with an update at how these new programs are working for us! How about you, have you tried them at home yet? Let me know what you thought.