We decided to make the switch to Language Lessons for a Living Education this year. My 8 year old daughter is a struggling reader and she really needed a change of pace. To be honest, I personally needed a change of pace!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free product in return for my honest review. I was not financially compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.
I have been looking for something that was simple and open and go, that didn’t take a lot of time for me to prepare or read ahead on how to teach a lesson. We came from another curriculum that took us almost an hour to complete language arts each day. I couldn’t imagine continuing to push through it when my daughter was struggling to retain what she was learning. I believe this was in part due to the long lessons.
If you are coming from a curriculum that takes awhile to complete each day, you will be pleasantly surprised by Language Lessons for a Living Education. from Master Books. What makes this curriculum so special is that it is written in a conversational tone to the child, and the lessons are short and sweet. Lessons do not take us longer than 15-20 minutes per day! It has a Charlotte Mason flair to it, which keeps the lessons short and to the point while including beautiful picture study, poetry, and copywork, in addition to grammar, reading and spelling.
Let’s take a look at how this curriculum is laid out:
Language Lessons for a Living Education Teacher Instruction:
There is no separate teacher guide needed, as it is written to the student. However, in the back of the book is a Teacher Aids appendix. I took the entire back teacher aid section and tore it out and added it to a teacher binder for myself. I love how the pages are hole punched for you, which makes this very easy. The teacher aid includes assessment charts, independent reading list, recommended book lists, activities and games, spelling practice and a create your own dictionary section. There is also an answer key to the worksheet page.
Master Books has included student aids that have extra practice worksheets. Since the lessons are so short, some children may desire extra practice (though I have found it is not necessary as the lessons build on each other). If your child wants to be challenged, or they are struggling with a certain concept the extra practice sheets are a wonderful addition. All of these appendices can be used however you would like. You can pick and choose when and how you use them to customize the curriculum the best way for your child.
Language Lessons for a Living Education Student Workbook:
The beginning of the book has a suggested 5-day schedule with spaces to record dates and check when the assignments are completed. You can even record a grade. These are great if you need to keep a record of your children’s work for your state requirements or an end of the year portfolio. At the beginning of each lesson week is a story to read to your student or for them to read to you. This alternates with poetry or picture study. There are always reading comprehension questions or thought questions at the end of the story, poem or picture study.
Each day has an exercise to complete:
Exercises 1, 2 and 3 have copywork and/or punctuation/grammar exercises.
Exercise 4 uses 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible. Your child can read the Bible story to you, or you can read it with them or to them if they struggle with reading. Afterwards they answer the questions and copy the memory verse and a caption from the picture. My daughter enjoys copying her favorite part of the illustration and drawing her own in the spot provided on the page. She loves this part of the book, but she has struggled with how small the font is in the storybook Bible when she needs to copy the verse and the caption. She has a hard time being able to copy it out of the book without losing her place as it is much smaller than the copywork that is included in the workbook. I usually end up writing it out on a whiteboard or separate piece of paper for her to copy.
Exercise 5 is a spelling practice activity day. You can choose to use these words throughout the week and also do a spelling list this day, or they can just practice reading and writing the words during the exercises on this day.
Final thoughts on Language Lessons for a Living Education:
We have really enjoyed Language Lessons for a Living Education. I like how there are many things included in the one book to make it as in depth as you want. You can literally open it and do the next thing, or you can add the extras in the back of the book if you feel like your child is needing more work. My daughter’s reading has improved, and she is trying very hard to read the instructions to herself each day!
I personally love the short lessons because it frees us up to spend more time reading together on our own, and exploring other areas of interest. It really is a breath of fresh air over the textbook style curriculum we had previously used.
**Please note that this curriculum uses the 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible book, and it is used on the 4th day of each week. When I received my review copy it did not come with the Bible stories so I did need to purchase it separately. This book is also used in other levels, so once you purchase it, you can use it multiple times in the other books.
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 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, and Coffee!
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