My Honest Opinion on Master Books Language Lessons for a Living Education

November 21, 2019

Sarah Shelton

Sarah Shelton

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We decided to make the switch to Language Lessons for a Living Education from Masterbooks this year. My youngest daughter is 8 years old and a struggling reader. She needed a change of pace. To be honest, I personally needed a change of pace myself. I am going to share with you my honest opinion on what we think after using Master Books curriculum. 

Master Books Language Lessons for a Living Education Curriculum Review with Book Covers

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. 

Simplifying Our Homeschool with Master Books

We have been homeschooling for over 15 year now. I have been looking for something different for our homeschool journey. Since my daughter is the last child I will be homeschooling I wanted to make sure I found something enjoyable.

Being a busy work at home mom of many, I needed something that was simple, and open and go as well. I needed a something that didn’t take a lot of time for me to read ahead and create lesson plans for.

We needed short homeschool lessons

My daughter needed something different than the curriculum we had been using. In the past year it took us over an hour to complete language arts each day. We didn’t have the time to spend an entire afternoon with one subject at such an early grade level.

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. We needed a different approach, something that would be engaging, with easy lessons that wouldn’t overwhelm.

Language Lessons for a Living Education

Are you 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.

Many homeschool moms are making the switch so they can have shorter school days. This give them more freedom to explore other area’s of interest for the rest of the school day.

Not only is it easy to use and engaging, Master Books homeschool curriculum has a Biblical worldview and is Christian faith based.

My daughter and I began with Language Lessons for a Living Education level 3 at 8 years old.

Charlotte Mason Style Language Arts

Charlotte Mason has always taken a different approach to learning. She believed that grammar lessons should be short and to the point. Students should be able to do independent work such as copywork and sentence writing without help.

Poetry & Picture Study

In addition to grammar lessons, she would also focus on poetry and picture study. What makes this curriculum so special is that it is has a nice Charlotte Mason style to it. It reads like a living book and the lessons are written in a conversational tone speaking directly to the child.

Short Language Lessons

Lessons are short and to the point. They do not take us longer than 15-20 minutes per day in the earlier levels. Poetry is often sprinkled through out with short answer questions for your kids to ponder on the poetry. They usually have sweet pictures to go with the poem as well.

Picture Study is included every few weeks. The prints are full color prints that are very interesting to look at. There are thoughtful questions included to help your child learn to examine and study art. They can narrate out loud to you, their thoughts and what they think is happening. Or, they can write their answers out in the student book.

No Teacher Guide Needed

There is no separate teacher guide needed, as the text is written to the student. This saves a lot of money, as teacher guides can sometimes cost more than the student book.

However, in the back of the book is a Teacher Aids appendix with perforated pages that are hole punched. I took the entire back teacher aid section 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 a placement test and assessment charts, independent reading list, recommended book lists, activities and games, spelling practice and a create your own dictionary section.

There are also answer keys to the worksheet page. The student aids have extra practice worksheets. Since the lessons are so short, some children may desire extra practice.

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.

different Language Lessons workbooks for kids and image of a girl sitting on top of a stack of books

What is the student book like?

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 short story to read to your student which is a good thing to do with early learners. If your child is reading on their own, they can read the story lesson out loud to you.

These stories alternate with poetry or picture study. There are always reading comprehension questions or thought questions at the end of the story, poem or picture study.

Complete one exercise a day.

Each day you complete one exercise/lesson in the student text. These take just a few minutes a day.

Exercises 1, 2 and 3 have copywork and/or punctuation/grammar exercises. Poetry and picture study is thrown in at different weeks.

Exercise 4 is a special Bible reading day and 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. She has a hard time being able to copy it out of the book without losing her place. The font 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. This only take a few minutes extra, and we work on spelling and writing out the words together.

Exercise 5 is a spelling practice activity day. You can choose to use these words throughout the week for practice and also do a spelling list this day. If you don’t want to do a weekly spelling test, kids can just practice reading and writing the words during the exercises on this day.

There are book mark style sheets included in the back for your children to practice writing their spelling words on.

The book includes 36 lessons which will complete a full school year. If you do a shorter school year you can easily double up if you need to since the lessons are short.

My Honest Opinion on Master Books Language Lessons for a Living Education text with image of a little girl reading a open book

Why Language Lessons for a Living Education is a good fit for us:

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. There are many different ways to use them 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!

The shorter lessons frees us up to spend more time reading together on our own, and exploring other areas of interest. We are able to spend more time choosing books that interest my daughter and reading those as well.

It really is a breath of fresh air over the textbook style curriculum we had previously used.

Busy homeschool families will love the short lessons. Give it a try next year, you may find the perfect curriculum for your busy days.

 **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. Once you purchase it, you will be able to use it multiple times in the different language arts levels.

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