Topic | Michael Clay Thompson language arts. Any input?

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • jeaninpa

    I’ve searched through the forums and haven’t found much on this.  I’m surprised since it seems like there’s so much there for a CMer to love.  Beautiful books incorporating grammar, Latin roots and poetry which seem to be written in a way that respects a child’s intelligience and curiosity.  At least that’s the way it sounds.  Has anyone used these?


    I’m not familar w/it, but have seen it mentioned on this forum: HTH some:)


    So funny a friend of mine was telling me about this today! She loves it, I think she is doing Grammar and Vocabulary.

    I am considering it.

    Hope you get more feedback here, would also like to know.


    I’ve been considering MCT for a while and I’ve finally decided to add it in the fall. I’ve read very good things about it and I’m very excited:)

    Love it… love it… love it! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate MCT’s work. I’ve used it for three years. In fact, I sell my other homeschool books to be able to afford these. He explains the basics of grammar really well (with each successive year adding a little more). By year three I learned things I’d never been exposed to before. The watercolor pictures are lovely. The text is written in a gentle engaging manner (without too many words to a page for younger students), and a great deal of humor. The poetry is explained in such a wonderful, conversational way. If you study the website, he shows how to use each book to cover a portion of the school year… without doing the same thing over and over. He does offer 100 sentences to diagram (he does it very differently, but I like it a lot). After I work through the first book, I have my kids do one sentence a day. By the end of the year, they really have the concept. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. He obviously loves grammar and I LOVE his work.



    Thanks for that input.  It’s nice to have some confirmation.  We’re kinda in the doldrums here and I feel like we could use some changes, but a website often makes things sound better than they are.  

    Wow, this does look good! I’m still trying to figure out grammar/writing decisions and this is something that seems interesting.

    I’m wondering how “teacher intensive” it is? Thoughts?


    I do the books with my kiddos, so in that respect it is teacher intensive. This allows us to have fun conversations and for them to immediately narrate it back. Having said that, I rarely spend more than 15 minutes doing the work. It is very easy to break into small segments and still get it done. The kids do their own sentences and bring them back to me and we discuss what is wrong and how to fix it.

    BTW, I rave about these books so much that some of my friends decided to try them. One of my friends has a son who hates grammar and writing… and he loves these books. Also, our local high school uses his “word” books for vocabulary builders for the ACT. They don’t use anything else. It makes me really sad to see kids cram words without a real appreciation for language. All of that is to say that they are comprehensive enough to build a great foundation not just for tests, but for life.

    Thanks for the feedback!


    JenKeithley, I’m really interested in this series. Can you explain more fully HOW the books are used in the school year. I read that he said, for instance, Grammar Island (my oldest is 9yo) would be used for about a month, and then reinforced by me (teacher) throughout the year.

    So, HOW do you use the series of books in each level throughout a given “school” year?

    Thank you for your thoughts. It looks so good to me, but I’m not completely clear on this aspect.

    Oh, is Creative Writing taught at some point? I see a lot on Academic Writing, but not so much on Creative …


    Oh, and do you add anything more to your LA program with your kids?



    looking for input from JenKeithleySmile.


    In the instance of your nine year old son, I would probably start the school year with Grammar Island (1-2 months). Then (starting month three) I’d do one Practice Island Sentence each school day until I ran out. Also starting in month three I’d alternate between Building Language and Music Hemispheres. I’d do one of them MW and one TTH. You may not cover an entire lesson each time… in fact, I’d keep it kind of short (15 minutes). I’d keep doing these two and the sentences until you run out of the books. Whichever book you run out of first, you can use those days of the week for Sentence Island. I’d keep doing this until you work through all the books.

    If you are the more organized sort, you actually can go through the books and make a schedule/plan about the actual number of pages you want to cover each day and then you’ll have a plan for exactly how long this will take you. I’m not the organized sort, so we kinda floated through this and I stopped the kids whenever it seemed like a natural break in the text. I’d let them narrate it back to me and we’d pick up where we left off last time. BTW, as far as Building Language goes, you might want to make flash cards and review them at the beginning of each lesson or every other lesson. This will come in handy by the time they’ve done two or three years of the Language books.

    I do not include literature in this. I just kept reading with my kids whatever I already planned for literature. Also, this doesn’t cover creative writing… except in understanding poetry. If you are looking for something creative, I’m currently teaching One Year Adventure Novel…but it really is for older students. Until then I used something like IEW’s Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales.

    Hope this was helpful. If you need some more info, let me know. And I’ll try to check in more regularly! Sorry about the delay.


Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • The topic ‘Michael Clay Thompson language arts. Any input?’ is closed to new replies.

Free basic shipping on USA orders over $75!