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Sunday, February 3, 2008

LA Ramblings

I have Primary Language Lessons by Lingua Mater now and I am very pleased. Thankfully, I've also been able to get Tapestry of Grace's Writing Aids, but I've also decided to get Language Lessons for the Very Young by Sandi Queen. Seems like a lot, huh? I have my reasons.

The Charlotte Mason method for the early years is resonating with me now, moreso than other products. I think it's the gentleness and snuggle quotient that is drawing me. The sharing of something beautiful without rigidness. First Language Lessons 1/2 by Jessie Wise didn't have the snuggle quotient for us, it just felt like something we 'needed' to do and I felt the pressure to get it right. Previewing Writing With Ease by Susan Wise Bauer at gives me the same pressure to get it done and right the first time. This isn't healthy for me or for my children, I don't need to feel the pressure and in turn put pressure on them.

Children and their abilities are fluid, even if they have mastered the material there will be days that they act like they don't know the first thing about the task at hand. I feel like I have equipped myself enough to be able to identify areas of improvement and use more open-ended products. This journey seems to have started when I choose to use Writing Tales 1 instead of Classical Writing or Classical Composition because I felt Writing Tales would be more suited to a younger child's abilities and imagination. Writing Tales is more child-friendly with its activities and games than other products I've seen.

For means of support, I have also acquired:
- The Core Knowledge Sequence K-8 by Hirsch
- Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp
- Ruth Beechick's practical books- The 3 R's and You can homeschool your child successfully 5-8

Tapestry of Grace's Writing Aids is a K-12 writing program which will help us move within their 12 levels (not grade levels) at the kids' pace. I think combining this with CM type products will provide the structure, scope and gentleness I've been looking for. I don't want to rush my children through concepts to finish a book. I want to make sure we're using our time efficiently and productively without pushing them beyond what they are capable of. What program is going to do that for us? Truly? None, we have to assess where we are and what we still need.

The only other type of book I'd like to acquire is a practical Charlotte Mason type book that helps with K-12 if there is one. I've also been looking at Catholic homeschooling materials because they also resonate with my goals. We're not Catholic but websites like Mater Amabilis seem to be aligned with what I have in mind, not to mention I have a lot of the books mentioned.

My current plan is to use Primary Language Lessons alongside Language Lessons for the Very Young, switching them out as I feel the need or doing similar lessons in each- the alignment doesn't really matter to me. What does matter is that LLVY should have been what I used in first grade instead of First Language Lessons so I'm remediating in a way. My thought is to keep using our workbook from Mailbox to reinforce if need be but not as an everyday activity. It's hard to share about this because it is very fluid. I do not want our lessons to extend further than 15-20 minutes, and I don't want them to be a pressure-filled 20 minutes.

The good thing is that Danny will be using these materials in a short amount of time and he is already drawn to the Primary Language Lessons's picture studies. How encouraging is that?

I really feel like I only have 1 chance with my children in these younger years and I don't want it to be filled with anxiety when it's not needed. I've had enough anxiety in the last year about all this for all of us! Lol. Oh my, I'm relaxing...what is the world coming to???



Crystal said...

Thank you for this review. You have given me something to think about. I just assumed First Language lessons was what we were going to do. You have given me other things to look at and think about. Thanks again for the review.

Jennefer said...

Sounds wonderful, Jessica! It is *so* great to hear you say you're relaxing. You deserve it, girl. Have a great week and I look forward to hearing more about all these products.


Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

I think it takes a very wise woman to look at something, esp something so compelling like a popular curriculum choice, and be able to say, "it's all well and good, but it's not for us."

I feel like I am slowly getting to that place, too. I am also getting more comfortable with getting curriculum and using it as a resource rather than a "program". I was unable to do that before... I felt to structured with the walls of the program and not confident enough to do it my way.

Good luck with these new materials. I hope they bring YOU and YOUR KIDS exactly what you need. :)

Anonymous said...

I placed an order a week ago with Queen homeschool supplies too. :-)

I have the LLFLO 1, 2, and 3 coming along with the Spelling thru copywork A.

I am going to put DS6 in LLFLO3 and starting using LLFLO1 with DS4 this fall.

I hope they are as wonderful as the looked in the samples.

I did notice that LLFLO has the artist and name of the work above each picture study, but LLFVY does not. :-/

Angela said...

Thanks for sharing- I have adopted a ton of CM this year and I am almost so removed from WTM- I feel guilty posting at the site LOL. But I have to go with what works with each child-

I am with you, when you say you only have one chance- Thanks for reminding!

mom24 said...

You are such an inspiration for me on this journey! I was feeling strange about FLL this year and looking to find something different also!
I am not nearly so ready for next year yet (bcuz of the baby) but hope to be well prepared in a few months!

Chris said...

Have you read Pocketful of Pinecones? I seem to recall you have, but if you haven't, I can highly recommend it. It's by no means a CM "How to," but I found it to be very inspiring. I remember crying at certain places in it, saying to myself, " I don't want Mary to lose her innocence--I so want to be like the mom in this book, and I want that walking-thru-the-meadow, enjoying-God's-world type of education." Sounds like you really appreciate CM. It's lovely to watch you find your path. Thanks for being so conscientious about blogging so we can share your journey.
chris in vA

CookieMonster said...

I find that the second time around, I'm much more "relaxed" because I feel much more "in control". Funny paradox isn't it?

But, it's true. I've been through it once, so I know what to expect. I know how to handle the day-to-day as well as the unexpected, so I relax even as I actually accomplish more.

So, what I'm saying is, I totally get what you're saying.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention, that I will really enjoy seeing how Writing Tales 1 works for you and Camille this fall...I have it in my plans for grade 3 here. :-)

I too feel that WT is a better option for MY young boys. Later we'll do Classical Writing, after a couple of years of WT under our belts. I tend to feel age 10'ish would be better for my kiddos to being Classical Writing.