Curriculum Review: First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Level 1

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level One

I want to share with you a book we are enjoying as an addition to our first-grade curriculum. First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level One is geared toward first-grade students. Although our current curriculum is very well-rounded and covers a good bit of language arts, I wanted to add in something gentle to touch on grammar skills and give my children more opportunities to develop language skills from a classical approach. Each lesson is short and concise and takes about 10-15 minutes, and I only add them in 2-3 times a week. Copywork, narration, picture study, and other classical techniques are used in this curriculum to develop language abilities.

The lessons are super easy for a parent to open and teach, as they lead the instructor step-by-step through the simple oral and written assignments that build reading, writing, spelling, storytelling, and comprehension skills. The guide includes 100 lessons to teach basic grammar skills such as nouns, verbs, punctuation, and capitalization. They will also memorize 12 poems and study many great pieces of art. They will be given the opportunity to practice oral narration and the beginning stages of written narration. 

This book has been a great fit for our home education and we will likely move to Level Two when we finish. I will say that some of the lessons are repetitive, so I meshed a few together here and there. The lesson presentation is incredibly detailed and is written in script form that tells the teacher exactly what to say and when to have children repeat things. At certain points, I found this too structured and controlled, so I just adapted it when needed. If you are looking for something light to gently introduce language skills from a classical approach, I recommend taking a look at this book. 

If you want to take a peek inside the curriculum check out this IGTV video where I go more in-depth.

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