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First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Student Workbook (First Language Lessons) Paperback – December 22, 2008

23 customer reviews

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First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Student Workbook (First Language Lessons) + The Complete Writer: Level Four Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jessie Wise, a former teacher, is a home education consultant, speaker, and writer. She has decades of experience as a classroom teacher, elementary school principal, private tutor, and educational consultant, and is the co-author of the best-selling The Well-Trained Mind and the groundbreaking elementary grammar text First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. She lives in Charles City, Virginia.

Sara Buffington has experience as a teacher and children's book editor. Now a freelance writer, Buffington is the co-author of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and First Language Lessons, Level Three.
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Series: First Language Lessons
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Peace Hill Press; Stu Wkb edition (December 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933339330
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933339337
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jessie Wise, a former teacher, is a home education consultant, speaker, and writer. She has decades of experience as a classroom teacher, elementary school principal, private tutor, and educational consultant, and is the co-author of the best-selling "The Well-Trained Mind" and the groundbreaking elementary grammar text "First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind." She lives in Charles City, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Lawhorne on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
During the first portion of my oldest daughter's fourth grade year, I was out of the country. When I returned, I discovered she was having difficulty with the writing exercises she was being assigned. My daughter was going to school in Florida and her teachers were focusing all their efforts on trying to get their students to pass the fourth grade creative writing FCAT. After reviewing the grading criteria, I questioned my daughter on her knowledge of basic grammar. I was shocked and dismayed by what I found. It seemed to me that my daughter was being coached to produce a specific product instead of being taught the basics of grammar and having her use those tools to be creative. I used this instructor's guide and the associated workbook to begin supplementing my daughter's grammar education. I am not a teacher and was intimidated by the thought of taking on that responsibility, but this manual made it easy. The lessons are broken down into easily digestible chunks with most lessons taking between 15 to 20 minutes each to complete. There are scripts to follow and queues for the parents after the child responds to your questions. I really liked that there were review lessons that had my child recall rules and steps as it ensured she wasn't just cramming and dumping the information. The teaching method worked very well for my daughter. She was feeling discouraged after receiving her teacher's initial writing critiques. After a few weeks, when she understood how to properly construct sentences, what adjectives and adverbs were, how to identify run-ons and comma splices, and how to use conjunctions, her ability to write creatively improved. The deeper we went into this book, the more confidence she gained and the better she performed on her writing and reading comprehension assignments. Her improved grades and her beaming smile they created made this text and the associated student manual well worth the money. Highly recommended. Five stars out of five.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By NWjames on September 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is well organized, good amount of review so the child does not forget what she learned last week. The only set back is that it's too parent-dependent, there no independent work at all. And it's also about a year behind for its grade level. I bought the 4th grade book. At this age, I expect my child to be somewhat independent, but this book does not teach that at all, it's still 100% parent dependent, conversational teaching, even worksheets are parent-dependent (meaning not practice worksheets at all. Great for 1-on-1 teaching, but if you are homeschooling more than one child, it's hard to manage.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By IzyMoe on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
My son WANTED to learn how to diagram sentences and since homeschooling allows us to choose our own curriculum, I thought I would give this book a try.

We are, however, giving up only half-way through the book.

Pros:
Teacher Guide is VERY easy to follow. Just read what is there.
Student book is consumable.
Asks children to memorize poetry (we were selective on this one)
Teaches diagramming (lightly)

Cons:
There are no instructions on the student pages. None. I can't even teach the lesson and ask him to finish while I check on lunch. I have to sit with him. the. whole. time. Don't get me wrong, I love to work with my children, but c'mon...it would be nice to be able to let him work independently!

There is nothing to prep the teacher/parent for the next lesson. I just open the book and start reading. No thinking involved on my part (which may be a plus for some). I would like to be able to actually write some sentences on the board and diagram them together before he works on them.

The teacher is asked to read the (lengthy) definition of a part of speech and the child is supposed to repeat the definition back three times. The definition isn't written in the student's book anywhere. Heck, *I* couldn't even repeat what I had just read without looking at it in the book. How was my son supposed to do it?

After learning a new part of speech, the child is asked to diagram it in a few example sentences. Lesson over. There is not a lot of review. What review there IS happens several lessons later in the book.

I found that my son wasn't actually "learning" these things. He was simply copying what he had been told to do.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By TXNYTX on April 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a believer in a strong grammar eduction, and this course definitely provides it! I have been homeschooling for one year, and my children have learned more from "First Language Lessons" than they had learned in all their previous schooling.

Some highlights:
- This course covers all the parts of speech, has copious diagramming, and provides both narration and memorization practice. (The poem selections are excellent: they are poems that any classically educated child should know, like "Ozymandias".)
- The course has an "open and go" design: the teacher does not need to do any prep work! Simply read what is written on the page.
- It uses English the way that I learned it in a mostly-classical grammar school. Two quick examples: (1) the plural of "fish" is "fish" (not fishes), and (2) the proper way to use commas in a series (I detest the new AP style that omits the final comma before the conjunction).

There is only one (relatively minor) thing that I dislike: the extremely repetitive nature of the exercises. If your child is a fairly fast learner, then this book can be a bit "drill and kill".

That being said, I still love the course. I just make some small adjustments (skipping over some sections that they know solidly) so that my kids don't get too bored.
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