I saw English for a thoughtful Child is recommended here. I also have seen good reviews for First Language Lessons. I currently have BJU English 2 ready to use but it is a lot of extra work that we are trying to approach differently this year. I just wondered if there is a favorite first grammar program any of you enjoy.
This is the page of “relevant” posts off the forum. You may find something here:
I do not think Serl’s is the same as First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, but i’m sure I will learn something more about them all through the links.
Sorry, I mis-read that. =( Well – maybe someone else will not be so slow to catch on! =)
No problem! I hadn’t looked at Serl’s before. There is so much available!
Well, I’m probably going to be the oddball out here, but I didn’t like English for the Thoughtful Child. A friend recommended First Language Lessons and we LOVE it! We are finishing up book one and will be moving onto book 2. I do skip the occasional narration exercises in it, because the method is different from CM narration. Other than that, we do all the lessons and really enjoy it.
Is it FLL by Jessie Wise?? If so, I have that and EFTTC and I can’t wrap my brain around the FLL, but really enjoy the EFTTC. We’ll be using vol. 2 next school year if I don’t change to a Queens grammar, but my son likes what we’re doing so we may just stick to it. He also uses Grammarland with the worksheets.
Everyone’s different, so for me I have to see the product. I have to see what the font is like, layout of the pages, if it’s scripted, sometimes even the size of the book makes a difference on whether I’ll love it or hate it.
We did FLL this year and it was fine. It was all oral, short lessons, and served its purpose. We skipped a lot and finished way berfore the end of the year. I used it bc it was the only program I could find that was completely oral. I didn’t want to bog her down with more writing beyond what she already does for copywork, math, etc. We won’t use year 2 of FLL, but not because we hated this year.
I’ve not used EFTTC, but I hear good things about it.
We really enjoyed FLL with a few kids, and it worked well for my auditory learners. It’s got a lot of poetry memorization, which they really enjoyed, and they always looked forward to the lessons. It does dwell on parts of speech much more than CM would in 1st or 2nd grade I believe, but it is a gentle, sweet program. EFTTC has more writing and older poetry – we used book 2 and really enjoyed that with three of the kids as well. It worked much better for my guy who’s a visual learner and had an undiagnosed hearing loss (no wonder FLL didn’t work well for him – we had no idea at the time!). It requires more of the child in terms of writing but is also gentle and you can adapt it to meet your child’s needs – if the writing assignments are too much, you can take dictation from them and then they can copy it, rather than having to do the composing and writing all at once. We found that worked well with wiggly guys who were overwhelmed with too much writing at once.
I thought this was going to bean easier choice than it is! I appreciate the responses. A program with less writing would be helpful but I also read reviews that FLL is all teacher time so how long do the lessons usually take to do in either program?
FLL takes about 10 min per day. I never followed it “exactly” though. I will say, I personally didn’t care for the poetry memorization in FLL. I prefer more classic poetry…we memorized a couple of them, but skipped most.
We are also among the few that found that EFTTC didn’t work. We have been using vol. 1 this year for my daughter who is in 2nd grade. The writing is just waaaay too much for her. We’ve had to adjust so many lessons, and she practically cries every time she sees the book. Just not a good fit, despite the fact that I love it ;) And that is really only something you find out once you give it a try. But, since we started it, I was determined to finish it and as a result will be looking at an alternative for next year… like the books by Emma Serl. I can’t wait to get my hands on those at conference :) Good luck with your decision making!!
It may also depend on the age of the child or their handwriting abilities. I should’ve mentioned that my ds was probably over 8 years old (maybe older) when we started it. I’d even say that he was considered a 3rd grader.
Don’t know if that helps, but as a side note my youngest ds will not be ready for any writing in a grammar book until at least 8…if we started sooner we’d definitely have to use an oral program (or one that can be done orally without sacrifice). His handwriting is just not where his other bro.’s was at this age and that would frustrate him too much.
Thanks all!!! Your comments are helping me rethink this completely. She is turning 7 soon. It does seem like I could wait on this until her reading and writing skills are improved. My kids each have been so different that I find it a new challenge to make these decisions for each child.
Yes, I agree with the posters, that for a child who struggles with writing, ETFC might be a bit much. My 14-year-old, a prolific writer now, would crumble to tears at having to write much up until about age 9. We used FLL for both first and second grade for him, and followed it with ETFC 2 in third grade, now that I remember it. I believe this is what we did for three of our boys and it worked well – they were ready by that time. I did add more copywork than FLL recommended (some of the poetry, in appropriate amounts, etc) because I didn’t feel there was enough, and while I prefer classic poetry and stories, my children adored most of them, and can still recite some of the poems. Another thing I gained from the very scripted method: DS14 was the first child I’d homeschooled “from scratch,” and the lessons really helped build my confidence and gave me ideas about how I could go about teaching things like that on my own.
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