May 24, 2007

First Language Lessons Review

We have spent the past two years using First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise. We used this for first and second grade English. We loved it for first grade and lost interest in second grade. We skipped a lot of sections and found it too repetitive in second grade.

The strengths of the book are the poetry memorization, the gentleness with which the concepts are introduced and the narrative style of lessons. The lessons are short and interesting to young children and there is little to no prep work. The material is classical styled and a good beginning for the English language. It is easy to modify the work as needed for the level of the child doing the work and you could teach more than one child at a time. It is a non-consumable which is always nice and we enjoyed the picture studies as well. Rhia was very excited for this book her first grade year and by the end of second grade really did not care for it at all.

The weaknesses of the book are the repitition. In the beginning it is good but then it goes on and on in second grade. We found many of the lessons unneccesary and simply skipped them once she got the concept. Perhaps for some children the repition is neccessary, but for Rhia it became tedious. By the end we simply worked on definition memorization and once she had the concept down and definition memorized we moved on. The poems were not as interesting to memorize for second grade and the book spends A LOT of time on prepositions.

Overall I am glad we used the book and I will use it with future children. I am not sure there is enough to make this into a complete two year program and may not do that again. The book is a great style for first grade but a bit tedious and young for second grade. I think I will keep it for first grade in the future and use parts of it for second grade along with another program.

All in all it is worth the price and a useful tool for teaching young children the English language in a classical style.

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