Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Language Lessons & Writing With Ease

 First Language Lessons & Writing With Ease
 by Jessie Wise

My good friend, Chelle (am I allowed to use your name?  tell me to change it and I will!) asked me to put this up on the blog (weeks ago); and if you know me I do try to do what I am told!!  I was telling our friend from Australia about our Language Arts programs (LA). I like abbreviations so I use WWE for Writing With Ease and FLL for First Language Lessons to save typing.  This is a little review of the Language Arts program we have been using for years....and I love it!  In college, my professors use to get so exasperated with me and my pitiful grammar!   I am hoping by the time Dd gets through 12th grade, my sentences will improve too!  This program has opened the door of grammar for me; and I had built up quite a high wall!

WWE (writing with ease) is just a writing program.  Each week you get a short story that you have to do Narration on Day 1, Dictation on Day 2, read another short snippet of a story and have Narration/Dictation on Day 3, and Dictation on Day 4...the end.  There is NO grammar, no diagramming, nothing but short stories that the student breaks down in his own words into a narration, and/or you dictate to him.  My Dd use to like this program; b/c they use many of the books we've already read for the snippets that we use to narrate--like Pinocchio, Little House on the Prairie, or Mrs. Piggle Wiggle...As I've mentioned, we do things usually in "chunks" b/c sometimes my Dd is open to certain things and other times she isn't.  Right now she is really open to FLL (first language lessons) so we have been doing at least a lesson a day--sometimes more.

I should say upfront that I have used no other grammar programs than WWE and FLL, so I have nothing to compare them to.  I should also say that writing and grammar are my weakest subjects and I wanted something totally Tracy-proof!  In both programs they spell out what the instructors says and type in examples of correct student answers.  We started with the First Language Lessons book that is Level 1 and 2 combined:  Level 1 & 2 has NO diagramming.  It is only when you move into the upper levels that there is diagramming.

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First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind (Vol. Levels 1 & 2) (First Language Lessons) by Jessie Wise

and this audio that really is great--we use this audio still!
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This is a cd that puts grammar terms to music!  It is great!

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Audio Companion for Levels 1 & 2 (Second Edition) by Jessie Wise, Mark Russo and Mike Smith

The Level 1 & 2 book and disc just go over the basics--nouns, verbs, adj., adv., prepositions.....and the disc puts all that information to very memorable music--yes, I have all these grammar songs memorized and I can sing them all of the top of my head and more importantly so can my Dd.  I highly recommend this program if you aren't already past the basic's.

Now for what you don't want to hear--FLL after Level 1 & 2 goes into diagramming. I have no idea why we were taught diagramming, and I have no idea why I am teaching my Dd diagramming!!!  Really!!!!!  But, it is helping her to break down each sentence to find the verb, find the subject, find the direct object......etc.  The most fun my Dd is having right now, is with these huge sentences that are 90 % prepositional phrases and you go through and cross-out the prepositional phrases and are left with a tiny, short sentence!!  She gets a big kick out of that!  Don't ask me why!

I don't know if it is what you are looking for or not.  It really does have a lot of diagramming - but, she does do a great job giving fun things for "optional activities" to get to see what things are--like taking a stuffed animal and putting it all around a chair to learn prepositions...etc. those are fun to do when we do them.  I just rec'd my next level last week.  We will be starting Level 4 soon.  I am a bit of a Raymond Moore (better late than Early) girl so we are in lower levels in most areas.  But, Dd didn't score below her grade level in any of our testing--which I figured she would have--??  The program seems really good to me b/c for the FIRST time in my life I am understanding grammar! and that is extraordinary!

Let me know if you want/need any more detailed information on either of the programs.  If you go to christianbook.com and type in First Language Lessons  you can see inside the books to SEE inside and get an idea of the materials.  I just tested it out and they do show a bit.

*I should also mention (and forgot to on my first try posting) that for the levels after 1 & 2, you buy a "Student Workbook" and an "Instructors Guide" book.  So, each day we both open our individual books to the lesson we are working on and I read and she does what I tell her to do...as it is scripted.  The Instructors Guide's are not written in (or at least I don't see why you would); but each child would need their own "Student Workbook"--so for you, you would need 2 of the student workbooks.

Each level goes into more and more detail and gets more technically elevated about comprehending the terms.

Here is the set I just got from Rainbow Resources--but since Rainbow has high shipping charges to Aussie, you can get these books anywhere--amazon, CHristianbook....

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First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Level 4 Student Workbook
Jessie Wise

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First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level 4--Teacher's Edition
Jessie Wise

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