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Intermediate Language Lessons Review by Kimberley Linkletter

Cynthia Albright

I am a big fan of classic educational materials and a Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling. Of course this means I usually have to do a lot of work finding resources and putting together workbooks to go along with them so I was pleased when we began using Cynthia Albright’s updated Intermediate Language Lessons. Aside from some research your children will do for individual exercises, everything is included.

While the original textbook by Emma Serl required separate notebooks (or slates when it was published back in 1914), Cynthia has done the hard work for us and created a handy workbook style PDF that can easily be organized into a binder for each student. She has also created Instructor Guides to go along with each of the three levels in the book.

The new version is now much more user friendly with children being able to do many of the exercises on their own, making it much easier to use when you are teaching more than one child in your family. Of course any of these lessons can be done orally as well. I like that it’s flexible enough to allow you to customize it for your homeschool and each child’s best learning style.

Intermediate Language Lessons is broken into three parts covering grades four, five, and six. Each of these parts contains a variety of studies in nature, poetry, prose, pictures, grammar, punctuation, and letter writing plus a lot more. Really everything a child needs to learn how to master communicating in the English language.

Getting started with Intermediate Language Lessons was very easy. Once we had the lessons printed and organized into two binders we were ready to go. While Cynthia has included lined sheets for dictation and composition as well as notebooking and debate sheets plus any selections that are required from previous levels, I decided to sort them out into their lesson right away and to divide the package in two so the binders were more manageable in size (part three is 237 pages on its own).

I also went through the Instructor’s Guide and added it to its own binder, making note of any resources that could enhance the lesson (Cynthia has additional resources on her website), and then added the lessons to our calendar. If you do two to three lessons per week you should be able to complete a level in about 34 weeks. Of course you can adjust this to fit your own homeschool as well. You may be using this in conjunction with another curriculum and may decide to stretch it over a longer period of time.

We focused mainly on Part Three because EJ is currently in sixth grade but we also popped back into Parts One and Two and found they all work together very nicely. In fact, because we hadn’t begun at the beginning, there were some stories we chose to use from the earlier parts because they were of particular interest. For instance, The Finding of Moses worked in well with our Bible studies; another was the piece on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This one worked well as we were visiting Louisiana and learning about the Acadians, using Mr. Longfellow’s poem, Evangeline, while we did so.

Another thing I liked about these language lessons was how they encouraged additional research and study in a variety of topics. For instance, in an exercise about sentence parts the children are given a subject to write a complete sentence about. I found our guy looking up these subjects for his work and learning about things like the Panama Canal and the Mississippi River. This helped to keep his interest high even while working on one of his not so favorite subjects.

Overall, I would recommend Intermediate Language Lessons for any homeschooling family who follows a more classical style of education. The updates that Cynthia has added make this program much easier to use for parent and child alike. It would work easily as well for families who would like to supplement their current curriculum with a classic option.


Product review by Kimberley Linkletter, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2018