I pulled an old friend off the shelf today. I’m starting First Language Lessons with my third child. Having studied English with my 6th grade son and 4th grade daughter using this resource, I am confident that it will be an excellent introduction for my 2nd grade son as well.
First Language Lessons was written by Jessie Wise, the co-author of The Well-Trained Mind. The text contains 200 lessons designed to be used during the first and second grades. The book uses a “Four Strand Approach” to teach grammar rules, usage, and beginning writing. The “Four Strands” are:
- Memory work
- Copying and dictation
So what is it about this book that keeps me coming back?
Ease of Use – The lessons are scripted. That is something that people generally love or hate, and as a general rule I don’t like scripted lessons because they tend to sound unnatural. But I like these. Even though the lessons are short and simple, the students learn and retain so much. The scripts include reminders to review poems, as well as provide review within the lessons.
Content – A student completing this text will have memorized the definitions of all the parts of speech, lists of helping verbs and prepositions, as well as ten poems. He will have practiced narrating short stories and completed regular copy work and dictation exercises. All of this provides a terrific foundation for further study of grammar and composition.
Oral lessons – This book provides a great opportunity to have some one-on-one time with your student. The lessons are mostly oral, with the exception of the copy work and dictation. Because of that, the book can be used for students for whom writing is a struggle. I used the book for kindergarten and first grade with my two older children because they were both ready for it. Although it is not necessary for the child to be reading well (most of the reading is done by the parent), it is important to decide if the time spent might be better used in reading practice. That’s why I chose to wait to use this with my 2nd grade son until now. He has struggled to learn how to read, so reading has been our primary focus in his schooling up to this point.
I am looking forward to our English study this year! I recommend this program to anyone who is interested in teaching English to a first or second grade student. For more information, you can visit the Peace Hill Press website.
Written by Kristen – A Classical Homeschool Mom of 4