Being Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, language arts is said to be included in the dictation part of our day. However, in making our homeschool work best for myself and more importantly our kids, I have added in a bit of grammar and language arts along the way. Because I believe in having a bit of a deeper look into language arts I was excited to review Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C.
Eclectic Foundations has three levels currently, A, B, and C, and they are adding a level D soon. The levels progress through the McGuffey Readers and with your child’s understanding and reading ability.
My kids are working between 2nd/3rd grade level and reading at a 5th grade level, so we began with the Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C.
Each level contains 144 lessons, with 4 lessons a week for a 36 week school year.
There are many components to the lessons. With a lesson in phonics, grammar, spelling, reading comprehension, handwriting, composition and poetry you are giving your child a well rounded language arts curriculum from one, easy-to-use, program.
The only necessary items for the program to work well, are the student workbook, teacher’s guide, and a copy of the McGuffey Reader that corresponds to your level. You can get printed copies of the workbook and teacher’s guide or there is a digital option that includes the workbook, teachers guide and word cards for a bit of a discount. The McGuffey Readers can be found for free as a download on the Eclectic Foundations website. You could also buy the originals or get them from the library. We were provided the student workbook, teacher’s guide, word cards and the McGuffey Reader for our review.
After taking one look at the Eclectic Foundations program, I was so excited I actually purchased another set of word cards and another workbook for my son to use as well.
The day’s lessons are broken down into multiple parts. The first part involves the McGuffey Readers. You will begin by looking closely at the picture for the selected lesson. This is like a picture study in our Charlotte Mason homeschool; looking closely while really noticing and describing the picture. We then moved on to reading the words and selected passage for the day from the McGuffey Reader. My kids enjoyed both parts of this and had no issues taking one step to the next.
The next day you will begin coloring and reviewing the vocabulary. During this day, we spent a lot of time reviewing parts of speech. The color coding of the words (which they did themselves) helped a ton in the recognition and understanding of the words. We haven’t begun diagramming sentences, but I can definitely see a potential for quicker understanding with the color coded word cards.
This lesson structure is repeated twice for a total of two lessons within the McGuffey Reader each week.
After the McGuffey lesson of the day, you move on to the phonics section which has your students reading the word list several times and dictating them for your student to write on her practice sheet. This is repeated each day of the 4 days of lessons.
From there, you move on to the handwriting selection. Each day there is a bit of handwriting, nothing that is overwhelming but something for a bit more practice. We did this in addition to our normal dictation, and my kids did not seem to think there was too much writing in our day. I loved that the copywork was an uplifting quote that made my children think about what they were writing and hearing, rather than a random sentence that made no difference to their heart and character.
In addition to the dictation there is even a bit of a memory aspect. Each week introduces a new memory verse for the kids to recite each day. I have not put a lot of emphasis on memorizing these, we do recite them daily, but I’m not requiring memorization, however they have been catching on to them very quickly and they seem to enjoy the new verses each week.
The last part of each lesson is a grammar portion. This allows us to look a bit closer at the grammar of the lesson. This was a great addition to the word cards and my kids loved learning more about the sentences and grammatical parts of each sentence.
In addition to each of these, you will find a bit of poetry added into the mix, which my kids loved!
Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C has been a great addition to our homeschool day. I feel that the kids are enjoying the lessons while really getting a good grip on the language arts portion of their education. This in addition to our dictation has been working very well, and the Eclectic Foundations program could probably be done without our added dictation, as it is a very well rounded program.
If you would like to hear what other homeschooling families are saying about Eclectic Foundations check out some more review by the Review Crew here: