This past month I happened upon a new Language Arts program. Well, new to me anyway. It is a gentle program written by a homeschooling mother of 4 boys. What drew me to the program was that it is heavily based upon literature. Good solid classics. A few that we have read many times already,
Language Lessons through Literature or just LLTL is a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum. The first of the series is a gentle introduction to copy work, narrations, grammar and picture study all while using classic read aloud books and poetry.
The first lesson uses The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter as the read aloud, grammar and copy work. My son has been very fond of Beatrix Potter stories for well over a year and we have read them many times over. So the first lesson and many of the following lessons have been met with enthusiasm.
As all families do we put our own spin on the program so that we can adapt to where James is academically. I first introduce him to the copy work sentence. I have pre-printed all these for him, to cut, paste and trace into his notebook. Then he copies the sentence into his notebook once. I read The Tale of Peter Rabbit aloud while James draws a picture of what I am reading.
His picture may not be clear but apparently, it is Mr. McGregor in the garden with Peter running to the gate. His challenge is to be attentive and to call out when I read the copy work sentence. He then writes the sentence again paying attention to form. I will then continue to read. He may go back to drawing. Once I have finished reading James is to write the copy work sentence for the last time. I should note that I had already read through the grammar portion of the lesson and I was pointing out the importance of capitalization and punctuation.
Once copy work is done I have James read the book to me. I tell him to let me know if there are words he doesn’t know. Beatrix Potter books are notoriously rich in vocabulary. I explain the word to him and then write up a table for him to keep as reference. Sometimes the words he doesn’t know shock me. Loaf? Really? I added a few words that he now knows that I had to explain to him in the past.
After James has read the book I have him give me a narration of the story. Be mindful that even though James is young we have read this story many times over so his narration is quite long.
The second part of the lesson features poem and a fable by Aesop. I have been doing this part of the lesson on a separate day. I have been having James try and memorize and recite the poem for me. His articulation isn’t quite clear enough for public speaking. And he has a case of the 4 year old wiggles. Which is completely expected. But he likes to try.
Currently we are just reading the fables. I do intend to start doing narration and vocabulary lists and drawings for the fables. But we just kept this part light for now or the lessons become too much.
We have been doing the lessons daily. Kathy Jo recommends a lesson schedule of 3 or 5 days a week. We do something nearly every day. And many lessons are split into two segments. And we have no issue if we miss a day or two. I just let James let me know his willingness and just have fun.
I should note that we do a little more in each lesson than is required. LLTL level one is a great program for any child who can read with a little independence, possibly a first or even second grader; But I think just as long as all the read alouds are read and enjoyed with parental guidance a Kindergarten student who can write letters and who is starting to read can enjoy it too.
Kathy Jo also has many other curricula available including but not limited to a reading/spelling program called Reading Lessons through Literature (RLTL) and and handwriting program called Handwriting Lessons through Literature (HLTL).