Review: Primary Language Lessons, Part 2, by Amy D.

 

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.

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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. 

 

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Review: Primary Language Lessons, by Emma

I was given the opportunity to review Emma Serl’s Primary Language Lessons Part 1, which is recommended for children in the second grade. We had already been using the original book, so the material wasn’t new to us, but I have loved having the glossary, vocabulary section, teacher helps, resource list and updated lessons in such a handy format. Plus, there was no need for an additional notebook, as the pages were already beautifully designed and included lines for writing. The download was a snap — just click and go. The price can’t be beat as it is well worth the $8.95.

As I said, we had been using the book before being given the chance to review the workbook. I loved that this one little book included picture study, nature study, poetry, grammar, origin, composition, letter writing and more. My son loved reading the passages and writing about them. Both my son and my younger daughter enjoyed the lovely photos and took part in the picture study activities.

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During the lessons, he learned how to address an envelope and write a letter. He memorized a poem and practiced his comprehensions skills. He also learned when to capitalize in a name and spent time researching farming practices. The sweet Charlotte Mason approach is both thorough and gentle. The lessons are short and enjoyable, yet they cover quite a bit of material.

I would certainly recommend this curriculum to anyone who is looking for a thorough elementary Language Arts program. It is both Charlotte Mason and classical in approach and I feel most children would benefit from the lovely photos and beautiful language of the book. The workbook format makes it that much easier to use.

I will use this again when my youngest is in second grade, and I plan to purchase Part 2 for my oldest once we have finished Part 1.

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.

 

EmmaemmaEmma has been married for seven years, and is mom of two, plus one once-crazy dog. She’s been homeschooling for three years now in NC. In addition to being a wife, mom and educator, she is also a Graphic Designer.

Review: Primary Language Lessons, by Briana Elizabeth

 

I have long been a user of Emma Serl’s Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons. My children are wonderful writers, and I fully give credit to Emma Serl’s books for their ability. However, their only drawback has been that unless you understood what the lesson was trying to teach and had a firm grasp on grammar yourself, you wouldn’t be able to use them with the same success. This is why I was always very hesitant to recommend them to beginning homeschoolers. They are not lessons that you read through, fill in the blanks and check the answer key. The teacher has to be a fully active participant in drawing out in the student what the purpose of the lesson is.

I am hesitant no more. Cynthia of Primary Language Lessons and has done the hard work of not only making a wonderful workbook for the student, but also wrote Teacher Helps in the appendix of the download that will show the parent precisely what the lesson is about. There are beautiful pages for dictation, and she has also left the picture studies as the original. The structure and art are so pleasing and in keeping with the hardbound format that the workbook fully keeps with the tradition of Serl’s work. And, she has done all of this for an amazing price of $8.95 for each grade.

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The wonderful thing about using the same curriculum for each student is that it builds the family culture, and the homeschool culture, so when I told my very last student that she was going to be starting Primary Language Lessons just like her older siblings, she was so proud. The download was easy to print out, and all we had to do was punch it and tuck it into a binder. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and I had to made her stop plowing through them. (Plowing through is not the aim of the workbook, even if they can. It’s a multi-threaded approach to language arts, and each portion is very important to the whole of the student’s learning!)

In closing, it is with great confidence that I recommend Cynthia Albright’s Primary Language Lessons. She’s done an amazing job with the product and given the homeschooling community much needed help with what was to begin with an almost perfect language arts curriculum.

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.

 

brianaBriana Elizabeth has been at this homeschool gig since her 23 year old son was in 7th grade, and his psychiatrist told her that he had to be homeschooled. Her son never went back to public school that year, and the following year, she pulled her 4th grade daughter out of public school. Her five other children have all been homeschooled entirely. It was baptism by fire, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Through the years, she has in the end, not only educated her children, but herself, and homeschooling has brought about a whole paradigm change of living for her family. The education that had seemed only possible for the elite was possible through classically homeschooling.