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Well-Ordered Language, Level 1A and 1B Review by Debra BrinkmanTammy Peters and Daniel Coupland, PhD
Classical Academic Press
2151 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Classical Academic Press has introduced a new program for Language Arts. Well-Ordered Language will be a four-year program, intended to be used starting as early as 3rd grade. Currently, Level 1 is available, and the plan is to publish one level per year over the next three years.
Each level is split into two semesters: Level 1A and Level 1B. The full program includes a Student Edition and a Teacher Edition for each semester, and there is a Songs & Chants mp3 for the entire level.
I intended to use this with my 5th grader, as I know that Classical Academic Press produces materials that can be used with older students. What ended up happening, though, was that my 7th grader joined in as well. Neither has had much formal grammar instruction, and this program has been fantastic for them both.
Like so many of their programs, this includes catchy songs and engaging examples that make it so my kids actually look forward to doing grammar.
There is some flexibility in how you use this, and they provide some suggestions for doing chapters over two weeks at either a three or four day per week pace. There is also a suggestion for working through the material faster, and finishing Level 1 in a single semester, which would be great for older students like mine. I would have used this pace if the next level was available already. Since it isn’t, we decided on a more relaxed path. In all of the schedules, it is assumed that you are spending roughly a half hour per day on your lessons.
Each chapter includes five days’ worth of teaching and worksheets (Introductory, A, B, C, and review). Each chapter also includes a lesson using a fable, and a lesson using poetry. There is a quiz to wrap up the chapter. If you do the four-day-a-week plan, they have you using almost all of the material. You choose between the poem activity or a practice sheet on one day. The other scheduling suggestions have you doing fewer of the sessions.
The lessons draw on real literature for example sentences, and the tone of the lessons suggests a playful adventure in learning how English works. The fable and poetry lessons are wonderful, and I did not want to skip those. Since my kids are older, we adapted the suggested schedule to add the poetry and fable lessons in alongside regular lessons. We are using the material four days per week, and doing six days of lessons per chapter. We will finish just in time for Level 2, which is scheduled to be out in Spring, 2017.
Level 1 teaches:
- Four Kinds of Sentences
- Subject and Predicate
- Subject and Predicate Verb; Singular and plural subjects with the verbs is and are
- Adverbs and their placement in sentence order; Not and never as adverbs
- Adjectives and the articles a and an
- Direct Objects and word order in sentences
- Subject Pronouns
- Subject Pronouns and Helping Verbs; Contractions with subject pronouns
- Object Pronouns; Contractions with not
- Pronoun Review; Subject/verb agreement
- Prepositional Phrases; Abbreviating months; Capitalization
- Introductory Prepositional Phrases; Fragments
- Compound Subjects; Subject/verb agreement with conjunctions
- Compound Verbs; Synonyms; Conjunctions
- Compound Direct Objects; Word order
We have loved working with this. It is fairly low-key, especially with my older kids, but quite thorough. We’ve been trying to do more read-aouds, so the suggested literature helps to give us ideas.
The best part is that both kids are actually applying what they have been learning in their other schoolwork. When I tell them to give me complete sentences, they are no longer able to feign ignorance. They absolutely know what makes a complete sentence, and they know that I know that.
We enjoy this so much that I purchased Writing & Rhetoric, so we are using Classical Academic Press materials for the writing portion of Language Arts now too.
-Product review by Debra Brinkman, Crew Administrator, The Homeschool Review Crew, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017