I have had a hard time finding language arts curriculum for the early elementary years. I have our 4th grade and up curriculum selected but haven’t been able to find anything for the first few years that I like, that my kids enjoy, and that works well with our upper elementary curriculum. That was until I had the chance to review Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level B.
I am using this curriculum with my 7-year-old 2nd grader. I tried to include my 5-year-old but it was just a bit too advanced for him, he needs level A, which I may get for him soon. I chose the digital version which comes in a PDF for easy printing.
For the digital version of this curriculum you or your child will need printer paper, cardstock, the ability to laminate OR page protectors, a dry erase marker, pencil, and crayons. You will also need The Original McGuffy First Eclectic Reader (note: you need the ORIGINAL reader NOT the revised version – I made this mistake and was lost for the first few lessons). A link to a free digital version of the reader is available on the download page for your purchase or you can get the print version from Amazon.
The lessons are short and simple but cover several aspects of language arts. Each lesson takes about 20 minutes. They include reading and discussing a selection from the reader, reading and discussing a poem, identifying rhyming words, handwriting, listening skills, and identifying parts of speech. Several different learning styles are touched on in the brief lessons as well. Children write, color, fill in missing letters with dry erase, read words, analyze pictures, and more!
The teacher’s guide section is very clear and tells you exactly what to do. I simply printed everything out and put the teacher’s guide pages in a 3 ring binder, put the practice sheets in page protectors and kept the rest ready for the lessons they went with. I will probably be purchasing the book to make it a little easier to use. You will need to print the word card pages onto cardstock, so keep that in mind when printing.
My daughter had no problems jumping in at Level B without having completed Level A. She particularly enjoyed the word cards where she colored each word according to parts of speech and the poetry that we read, discussed, and identified rhyming words. She said her favorite thing to do was put the word cards in order to make a sentence (not something I told her to do but that she decided to do on her own).
Check out this video where I interviewed her about this curriculum:
I love that this curriculum is simple and easy to use without a lot of planning and preparation on my part. It covers the things I would like my kids to know before transitioning into our other curriculum in 4th grade without being overly challenging or boring. It is a lovely, gentle introduction to language arts. I also like that it uses the McGuffy readers. I had bought the readers a while back but couldn’t figure out a good way to use them, so these lesson plans give me the framework I needed. I love old fashioned curriculum!
Eclectic Foundations currently offers their curriculum in levels A, B, and C (roughly grades 1, 2, and 3 but check out their “What level should I start with?” page and the page for each level for details and specifics; I think if you start with Level A in kindergarten you could work one year ahead). Level D is due to come out in April! Be sure to go “like” Eclectic Foundations’ Facebook Page to stay up to date on the availability of new levels!
I will continue using this curriculum with my 7-year-old and will probably be purchasing Level A for my 5-year-old. This should give them a great foundation of language arts. In the future, I will start Level A in kindergarten and do one level a year from there.
Let me know in the comments if you plan to try out Eclectic Foundations Language Arts with your children!
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