Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders

Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders (Ten Speed Press, September 2014) is a delightful dabbling in the untranslatable (into English) words of the world. I’ve always felt that foreign languages are important to learn simply because English cannot always express everything there is to say. Artist Ella Frances Sanders brings some of these words to life with explanations an illustrations.

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Logic of English Foundations

Raisin and I are only done with a little more than 40 of the lessons for the Kindergarten language arts program Logic of English Foundations. However, he enjoys it so much that I feel it is time I discussed it briefly on this blog.

LoE Foundations is an “all in one” language arts for 4-6 year old homeschool teachers or classroom teachers. Beginning with phonics, Foundations teaches children to read, to write (both a manuscript and a cursive instructional workbook are available for the handwriting instruction), and to grasp the basics of spelling. So far, I have not encountered any grammatical instruction or lessons on the mechanics of writing but neither of those are typically included in a kindergarten level program, I don’t believe. The program is to have about 180 lessons. After the first 40, students have learned how to write the 26 lowercase letters of the alphabet and can successfully read a large number of words by sounding out the phonograms.Continue Reading

(Homeschooling Minute) Grammar-Land by M.L. Nesbitt

Grammar has a reputation of being dull and dry, but a turn-of-the-century classic, Grammar-Land by M.L. Nesbitt (first published 1878), attempts to make it fun by turning learning the parts of speech into a game.

In the imaginary world of Grammar-Land, the parts of speech have been arguing about which of them is most important. They must come before Judge Grammar and explain themselves. The book is written with the “children of Schoolroom-shire” as the intended audience, and as each part of speech comes before the judge, he asks the children for help in understanding the parts of speech.

Because I love studying grammar, I think it goes without saying that I loved this book! I found it to be a delightful introduction for kids. The parts of speech have distinct and memorable personalities. I think my favorite was Little Article.

Admittedly, the plot is not a fascinating adventure. There is no disguising the fact that this book is teaching something. But, compared to other options, I think sitting and reading about Grammar-Land is an ideal way for my son to first be exposed to the parts of speech. With the worksheets that other homeschool parents have made (here and here), I see Grammar-Land as a delightful beginning grammar “curriculum” for my young son.  Best of all, Grammar-land is available for free at Google Books. I’ll come back here and report when Raisin and I have read it together.