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Primary Language Lessons Question????

Primary Language Lessons Question????

I am considering using MFW Adventures for my 2nd and 3rd graders this year. MFW recommmends Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl. I have the book and am looking through it but it seems so basic. Has anyone used this? What did you think?
I have been told this is enough for the grades its used for. I like the CM method but I wonder if I would need to supplement the Primary Language lessons with something else or is it enough itself????????????


re: Primary Language Lessons Question????

We did MFW Adventures last year and I thought the very same thing; how could this possibly be enough grammar for a 2nd grader? So, I supplemented with Rod and Staff grade 2 English. On retrospect I do think either program would have been enough on it's own, but I enjoyed both programs so we did nearly complete both of them. I skipped the memorization lessons in PLL because I just thought they were too difficult and I had my kiddos memorizing some other poetry anyway. Overall I really like PLL. The lessons are short and easy to implement as teacher/mom.

I hope you enjoy Adventures as much as we did! It was great for us and we will be doing ECC this coming school year.

re: Primary Language Lessons Question????

I like PLL a lot and ended up writing a h-s user guide that I never formally published. I like the CM feel in the book. Some people like to get the formal teacher's guide from Lost classics for the book in order to have a few extra assignments on some lessons (I don't think it is needed, but that is an option for those who want it. check places like Rainbow Resource Center for that teacher's edition of PLL, it's reasonable.)

in the context of using PLL with MFW ADV, remember too, that you will have a spelling program as part of your language arts. In ADV, there is the optional extra dictation exercises starting in week 6. There are the built in language arts in the unit study (notebooking pages, narration summaries from reading, writing lab reports with science, copywork and memory work with Bible.) then the other parts with book basket, and reading comprehension. So, PLL covers those other "basics" with picture study, composition, basic grammar (punctuation, capitalization), application of parts of speech instead of identification. Poetry study (you can just do study of the poem or prose piece and not worry about memory work, or just memorize the first stanza).

edit to add: you can do whatever language arts program you prefer to use. PLL is just a recommendation, not a requirement in the mfw stuff. <wink>


This post was edited on Jul 19, 2010 05:17 PM

re: Primary Language Lessons Question????

It's actually harder than it looks. Think about the dictation exercises. Can your dc actually spell all those words already? Mine can't. Therefore if we had used PLL this year (and we didn't) there would have been a lot of learning going on, just using PLL.

I opted against it anyway...Instead i really thought my son needed lots and lots of attention to detail. So he began 1/2 page per day of copying from LIttle House in the Big Woods. I make him erase if there is more than 1 error. This has taught him amazing attention to detail.

However, I feel he is learning ZERO language or grammar from it, because he has no idea what he is copying, he only looks at ONE word, and sometimes even ONE letter at a time. So it has been great for attention to detail and hanwriting but not for grammar or exposure to excellent writing.

SO we started with EASY Grammar at the beginning of the year and love it, and we are also using Even Moor Daily 6 trait Writing, which I think my son will love. We will start that next week.

Your kids can learn a lot from copywork, dictation, narration, and talking through the grammar!! I personally would not double up PLL with an intensive Writing and Grammar like Rod and Staff. That would be too much for my son, and more than necessary anyway.

I would just point out also that you can use any grammar or LA you want with MFW.

re: Primary Language Lessons Question????

Thank you Ladies! I also have Writing with ease, which I bought last year and never used. I may use it too, not sure though. It maybe too much copywork. My 2nd and 3rd graders are both boys so maybe PLL will be a good fit for them. I liked the short lessons.
I just look at LA programs like BJU, Abeka, Mcruffey etc....and then I look at PLL and it still seems so light. I know its not school at home but, CM method, which is what I love about it. Guess my brain is still somewhat stuck in the traditonal school methods...LOL

re: Primary Language Lessons Question????

PLL is enough for that age. Adventures will have additional LA skills in the lesson plans, including narrations, copywork, dictation, memorization... so PLL isn't the *only* language arts you get. Plus you'll be doing Spelling, too.

The pp mentioned attention to detail. Anytime you're doing CM style language arts, there is *definitely* a lot of attention to detail. In fact, that's kinda' the whole point of CM style language arts... you can't just hurriedly fill in the blanks and move on. You HAVE to pay attention to detail when doing copywork (I used to repeat the mantra to my dd that "copywork should never have a mistake"), dictation exercises, picture study, and memorization. For example, your student will have to write complete sentences (not one-word answers), including proper capitalization and punctuation. Your student will have to think back to a story or poem read the previous day in order to remember answers to the questions in today's lessons. I actually had to cut back on the # of sentences my dd was to write sometimes, and just do them orally. She didn't like PLL because she really had to WORK! LOL

I did alternate PLL with First Language Lessons, not because I felt PLL needed "more", but because I just liked FLL and wanted to use it. We didn't do every lesson in FLL, though, because some of it was similar to what was in PLL. I wouldn't do both on the same days... I alternated. PLL isn't scheduled every day, anyway, because of the other LA work that's scheduled in MFW.

I'll follow the same pattern with my youngest dd this year, unless I decide to move forward with LLATL. PLL and FLL would be more cost effective since I already own them. ;o)

You won't actually need a writing program until 3rd or 4th grade. MFW has writing exercises included.

re: Primary Language Lessons Question????


Is PLL scheduled in the MFW teacher guide or do I just make up my own schedule? I haven't order my MFW stuff yet. I just have the PLL book. You mentioned LA included in MFW. Is this for Adventure? Adventure is the program I'm looking at doing. Thanks again!

re: Primary Language Lessons Question????

"Is PLL scheduled in the MFW teacher guide or do I just make up my own schedule? I haven't order my MFW stuff yet. I just have the PLL book. You mentioned LA included in MFW. Is this for Adventure? Adventure is the program I'm looking at doing. Thanks again!"

Yes, and yes. Actually, in the block on the grid it just says "English". That's so you can write in whatever you prefer to use for that subject, in case you're not using their recommendations. (There's a separate block for Spelling.) But at the front of the TM are instructions for how to use PLL with the curriculum. The sample lessons on the website don't show the pages that give PLL instructions, so if someone is just going by what's on the website, they may not realize that there ARE instructions for how to use it.

And yes, other LA skills are scheduled in Adventures.

There is a separate teacher's guide available for PLL now, but that's fairly new and MFW doesn't sell it. Here's a link to that:

It'll take some getting used to doing CM methods when you're only familiar with the traditional way that we were all raised on. ;o)


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