I have been intrigued by Emma Serl’s Primary Language Lessons for quite some time. Originally published in 1911, Primary Language Lessons incorporates poetry, memorization, narration, dictation, grammar, composition, and picture study. It seemed like a gentle approach to teaching the language arts. As I started looking into the Charlotte Mason approach to teaching, I felt even more compelled to try it.
So, imagine my delight when I was offered the opportunity to try Primary Language Lessons in a workbook format! Cynthia Albright has taken this already wonderful resource and made it even more accessible by creating a product that the homeschool parent can easily print and allow the child to work with. I was able to review Primary Language Lessons Part 2, which is intended for a third grade student. My daughter, a nine-year-old third grader, was a willing participant.
The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to download the product. Just a few simple clicks, and I was well on my way. The second thing I noticed, and that definitely appealed to me, was how economical the product is. At $8.95 for the download, this product should fit most budgets. Considering that the $8.95 buys a full year’s worth of lessons in both grammar and composition, it certainly seems like a great value.
For those of you that have looked at the original Primary Language Lessons, I think you’ll be pleased with how Cynthia has updated the lessons while still maintaining the charm and the Charlotte Mason approach. What her download has, that is missing in the original book, are a glossary, vocabulary, teacher helps, a resource list, lines for the student to write on, dictation sheets, and some general updates in terminology and in the letter writing lessons. For example, some postal abbreviations have changed since the original book was published. These updates alone are well worth the money, in my opinion.
When I first pulled the lessons out to share with my daughter, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The very first lesson was a narration exercise, and I knew from experience that these could be frustrating for her. We read the piece on the silkworm and then I gave her the picture to look at.
She was immediately interested in the pictures representing the different stages in the process of making silk, from the silkworm eggs all the way to the woven cloth. She willingly gave a narration that drew from both the story and the picture, and I was more than pleased with the nature lesson that was woven into our language arts that day!
As we continued on through the next several weeks, I was always happy with how the lessons managed to incorporate several things into one exercise. For example, a lesson on prepositions also provided a chance for copywork. Another lesson teaching the proper format for writing a friendly letter also gave my daughter the chance to practice some creative writing skills. All of the lessons were thorough, yet short enough to not make my daughter resent the experience.
I would certainly recommend this to anyone with a young elementary student in need of a grammar and writing program. It is a gentle approach, yet very thorough. Since we have already spent the year covering grammar before beginning this review, my daughter probably could have handled the next level, but she certainly wasn’t bored with the material. Although she had already encountered the concepts that were being taught, they were presented in the unique style that is a characteristic of a Charlotte Mason education, and that kept it fun and engaging for her. I plan to continue using this for the remainder of the year and look forward to purchasing the next level for our next school year.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review on the Sandbox to Socrates blog. Opinions expressed in this review are the opinions of myself or my family and do not necessarily reflect those of the Sandbox to Socrates blog. I received no compensation for this review, nor was I required to write a positive review. This disclosure is in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Amy was born in North Carolina, where she lives with her wonderful hubby and their 4 children. The family lives in a charming, old home (money pit) built in 1930, with their cats, dog, and goat. Amy consumes large amounts of coffee, pins far too many pins on Pinterest, and enjoys lesson planning (surfing the web) a little too much. She and her husband are passing down their love of music and books to their children, and in fact, may be homeschooling to legitimize their addiction to books… Although her life didn’t turn out one bit like she had planned as a teen (Paul McCartney was already married…), Amy wouldn’t change a thing, and cherishes every moment spent with her family.