I have been looking for a really good language arts curriculum for my daughter for a while now. I have wanted the curriculum itself to include handwriting, poetry, and of course grammar. Well I have been blessed with being able to review the curriculum I have been looking for: Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level B by Eclectic Foundations. This particular level is for grades 1 – 2.
This curriculum combines reading, phonics, handwriting, poetry, and grammar all into one lesson. To start at Level B your child should be able to read simple CVC words and be ready to move on to the silent /e/. During this year you will cover McGuffey’s First Reader, phonics, and you will continue to use the word list from Word Mastery by Florence Aiken. In this level your child will start to learn cursive. After they start learning the cursive letters then you with some copy work of short poems, famous quotes, or “slate work” from the reader. Each week you have a different poem you are working on and I will get into that in detail a little more later. As you work through this level you will also learn grammar.
How I Used This:
I used this with my daughter four days a week and I incorporated this into what we already have been using. The lesson aren’t really long. I guess it depends on your child as to how quickly they can work through the lesson. My daughter really struggled with the cursive because she does not like it. That does not in any way make this a bad curriculum. Her preference is to print. That’s ok as the cursive will take us time and lots of practice. This level in a way might be a little to easy for my daughter, however, I really felt it was a good match. So far the words in the book have been super easy for her and the stories too. I picked this level more for the poetry, grammar, and cursive handwriting. I am comfortable with my pick.
Each lesson starts out with reading. You will either read from the McGuffey’s First Reader or you will work on word cards. They aren’t your ordinary words cards. The word cards get colored and each color represents something from grammar. For example you may have a noun colored red, a verb colored green, and so on. The nice thing is it gives the kids a visual and places them in a grammar category. I really like that idea. It also gives a chance to review what that part of grammar means. The stories in the reader are very short. They go over a little phonics and then you read a very short story. After the story you ask questions about the story and the picture. The questions make them think a little, which I like.
The next part is phonics. You have the child read the word list for that lesson. You also spend time on any words that need to be reviewed. My daughter didn’t have to review any words so far, but we still wrote the words on the practice sheet. The nice thing about the practice sheets is that you can reuse them as you use a dry erase pen on them and wipe off when finished.
Then comes the handwriting. You start out working on a different letter each day. It is also advised to practice letters that you are having trouble with as well. Unfortunately my daughter had a hard time with it. So I did a line of capitals in cursive and a line in printing, and I did the same for the lower case letter. The last line I used for any thing I need to review in cursive.
Poetry is next on the list. You have a poem that you read each week. You might read a stanza or too. Once your done with your reading their are questions. They might comprehension or they might be asking what things means. Either way the poems have been really fun and cute. My daughter really enjoys the poetry.
Last you work on grammar. You focus on different points each day but each one builds off the other. Sometimes we talk about it and sometimes we use the white board to write things on. Either way I like the fact that it is short and sweet.
I absolutely love this curriculum because it is not overwhelming at all. It’s simple to use and can be used alone or with your current curriculum. It doesn’t take a long time to get through the lessons at all. Everything is all laid out for you in the teacher’s guide. Best of all my daughter really likes it.
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