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We are struggling with grammar. I’m no grammar slouch, but even I am getting bogged down with teaching them diagramming and predicate noun and subjective…whatever.
We were doing an online course and then supplemented with worksheets. I felt it was overkill and we were simply spinning our wheels, mired down with memorization rather than comprehension.
We had heard of First Language Lessons from a few moms out there so we thought we’d give it a try. I was worried about throwing more money at one subject. They include poems and songs, which made me wonder if the kids would think it was too babyish. We used this in our 3rd-grade Homeschool. The books are broken down into grades and can be used early, such as in 1st-grade homeschool or as part of a gifted homeschool plan. Homeschooling in Nevada means you are free to find what works best for your child. I have a number of reviews to help parents weed through the massive amounts of information and save some time (and money!).
What I thought upon my first skim of First Language Lessons was that it was tedious. But it exceeded my expectations when my kids sat down to do it without the usual frustration. The twins actually retained information to apply to other areas.
Pros of the Language Lessons
This works straight out of the box, which was nice. I didn’t have to spend a lot of time prepping before we could start the lessons. The teacher’s manual was simple to follow and you just go along at the kid’s pace.
I love poetry and have read favorite passages to my kids since they were babies. They aren’t into it whatsoever. However, the twins took to the poetry memorization so much that I paired it with some of my favorite poems I found online.
The repetitive process isn’t my favorite, but in this case it seemed to sink in for the kids. It built up a solid grammar foundation in my twins, based on understanding and memorization.
The First Language Lessons worked well because the twins already had knowledge of grammar from their time in public school.
This helped them to contextualize their grammar lessons within a whole context of grammar.
The First Language Lessons books are an excellent balance of scope and depth for grammar.
I had always loathed diagramming so I was not looking forward to it but this allowed my kids to ease into the subject. It plotted out the diagrams without overwhelming them with information. They seemed to get the hang of it quicker than our online curriculum.
Cons of the Langauge Workbook
While this is not a complete and comprehensive grammar course, it does cover the primary structures. There is not a lot of letter-writing suggestions, which my kids struggle with. I am trying to get them to write narratives and use an Evan Moor book that they like because it’s only a page a week and they write a complete paragraph without the push back I can get when they are confronted with assembling a narrative.
This is a beginner’s book for diagramming if that is important to you. If you have kids on different levels, it can be challenging for some without being overwhelming yet interesting and worthwhile for those who are better at language arts.
For instance, my twins are at different levels. She is a higher grade in math than he is and he is a higher grade in LA than she yet they both struggle with grammar. He picked it up faster than she will but the First Language Lessons book worked well for both of them. I didn’t have to teach two different levels at the same time.