Learn about what we are using for Elementary Language Arts this year!

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I am excited to share with you what we are using for Language Arts this year with my 5th and 3rd grader. We are Charlotte Mason Style homeschoolers and I am happy that we are continuing with English Lessons Through Literature.

English Lessons Through Literature was created by Kathy Jo Devore of Barefoot Ragamuffin Curriculua. She couldn’t find a Language Arts curriculum to fit all of her needs/wants, so she created her own!

So what exactly is different about English Lessons Through Literature?

  • Short, three day per week lessons keep Language Arts from taking all of your time.
  • Children interact with books, not just passages from books.
  • Writing is taught through imitation.
  • Spelling is taught through prepared dictation.
  • Copywork is included from the literature, the Bible, maxims, and poetry.
  • Students rewrite sentences from the stories, changing the sentences through grammatical changes. This old exercise from Erasmus teaches children to say the same thing in many different ways.
  • Children write outlines, then write papers from their outlines.

In a typical lesson:

  • The child listens or reads the literature, depending upon his age.
  • A brief lesson explores a grammatical concept. Examples are taken from the literature.
  • In levels 3 and up, there’s a short writing exercise. The child might analyze words from the new narration story, change a sentence from the story, or imitate a descriptive paragraph.
  • The child listens or reads the poem and the Aesop’s fable.
  • The lesson ends with a short exercise and copywork. The exercise sentences are also from the literature.
  • Once per week, there is either a written narration or a picture study.

When I found this curriculum last year, I was thrilled because it was everything I had been looking for as well!

You can read our Review of ELTL Level 1 and Level 3 HERE.

Since we loved it so much, we have decided to continue using English Lessons Through Literature.

I can see us using this until there are no more volumes! According to the  publisher there should be a total of 8 books in this series, with level 6 to be completed in about 6 weeks and levels 7 and 8 by next Fall. If we are lucky, there may even be some Highschool Volumes!

We start school the end of August. My girls have already asked me what books they will be reading this year!

My 3rd grader will be using level 2 this year; she still struggles with reading, so we will probably use the free audio books from Librivox again.

Level 2 is where the real work in grammar begins. All eight parts of speech are taught in Level 2, and the child practices recognizing them in short passages from the literature.

Literature in Level 2:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (13 stories)
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne

My 5th grader will be using Level 4 this year. I put her in level 3 last year because she needed a good foundation in grammar and had never diagrammed sentences before. It was a great fit for her and now she is ready to move on! Level 4 focuses on more writing projects using a historical topic. It continues to teach grammar with indirect objects and diagramming prepositional phrases, identifying the parts of the verb, and determining whether a group of words is a phrase or a clause.

She is VERY excited about reading Heidi and Black Beauty this year and she should be able to read them on her own now, though she still loves audiobooks!

Literature in Level 4:
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame

You can also check out the Samples HERE.

You can purchase English Lessons Through Literature HERE! There are links to order the print books or ebooks on Lulu, or the print books from Amazon.

My girls also wanted to learn about marine life and sea animals this year, so they were ecstatic when I told them that we received a new Science Book to try out.

We will be reading The Quark Chronicles: Zoology this year! This Zoology book covers many Marine Biology topics! Quark Chronicles is a Living Science Fiction style book written by Kathy’s husband Ernest Devore. This Living Science spine will take your children on an epic journey through space and science! They’ll join Tom, Sally, and the twins, Mike and Joe, as they travel through space on a living spaceship. They have to explore various scientific concepts in order to survive and, ultimately, get back home.

There are currently two volumes in the series: Botany and Zoology. Anatomy, Astronomy, Geology, Weather, Chemistry and Physics are currently in the works. Each living book covers one semester of Science. There are also notebooking pages available with recommendations for science projects, narration pages, copywork, vocabulary, suggested reading lists and more!

You can purchase the Quark Chronicles HERE. There are links to order print books or ebooks on Lulu, or the print books on Amazon. There are links to samples on the same page.

If you are not familiar with Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula, I highly recommend it! I have been homeschooling for over 12 years now and this is one of my favorites! I also love supporting homeschool families and small businesses. The author is extremely helpful and encouraging and is quick to answer any questions you may have.

Make sure you like the Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula Facebook Page for updates, you can ask questions there too!

Written by Sarah


Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Granola Mama to 4 children ages 16-5. She is a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for 13 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, Coffee and Green Smoothies!

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