CM Language Arts and college


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  • MissusLeata

    Last weekend, I helped a friend who is taking a college English class study. I’ve never taken a college English class, but I understood almost everything we studied from my school days. But, I went to a Christian school that used ACE. I always said I would use ACE with my kids for English but they ended up hating it. (At least the ones I tried it with.)

    But after studying with my friend, I’m wondering if CM LA will prepare my kids for college. My friend is struggling to get her grade in this class up because it is so much new information. One chapter that we studied covered things like transitive and intransitive verbs, active and passive voice, helping verbs, linking verbs, helping verbs, irregular verbs, conditional tense and more. Are some of those more advanced things covered in CM friendly HS language arts? My oldest is only in 7th grade and this year, we are being creative with Grammar with a Giggle and some diagramming. But all the younger kids are using CM LA’s like English for a Thoughtful Child and PLL. I don’t want them to be blind-sided if they get to a college English class like my friend has been.


    I think this is very individual because college classes vary a lot. My daughter is in her first year of college at a fairly classics/liberal arts focused school and hasn’t come across this sort of deep dive into identifying parts of English grammar. HOWEVER, she has studied grammar and Latin (great help for English grammar) in high school. So she’s prepared.

    Charlotte Mason advocated waiting to teach formal grammar until a child was at least 10 years old because it is a very abstract concept and a younger child is very concrete. Until that time they simply have a lot of exposure to correct grammar usage through good books and copywork/prepared dictation.

    We used Analytical Grammar one semester (she really disliked it, but you could use something like this in high school). After that she started Latin, which was a big help, and she used The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts (High school level 1)for her senior year of high school – it was great. Now my kids begin using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts when they are reading well. They have level books from elementary to high school and cover a lot more than just LA concepts. We love them! My kids have started them around level 3/4/5. This is our second year with them. Between all my kids we have used or are currently using level 3, 4, 5, 6, and High School 1.

    Sonya Shafer

    Most of those concepts are covered (or are scheduled to be covered) in our Using Language Well series. Books 4 and 5 are in the works.


    For my 10-year-old, we are using Shiller Language Arts Kit B for grammar. We skip the other parts.  They use wooden symbols to diagram sentences and songs, which is helpful for those who need more concrete.


    This is so helpful. I was worrying that maybe I should move everyone to a more intense language arts program. I remember when I first learned about CM years ago, hearing that “Grammar is a finite amount of information and can be learned in a year in High School.” But I’ve had a hard time finding a program that would teach it all in a year when the kids reach that stage.

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