Eclectic Foundations Review
Our second grader was able to work through Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C. He was so excited to get his books in the mail that we had to start right away. Thankfully this was possible because there wasn't much preparation that was needed to start on this program.
This is a complete Language Arts program that comes in various levels for wherever your child is at in their development.
* Level A works through letter recognition and learning simple CVC words
* Level B moves the child on to words with the silent /e/ and will learn how to write in cursive
* Level C is for 2nd-3rd graders who already know cursive and can read
Since I had already taught our second grader how to write in cursive and he was reading quite well, I chose to put him in the Level C version of this Language Arts program. This level worked well for him and he seemed to do well.
As I said before, this is a complete Language Arts program. It includes:
READING & GRAMMAR
Eclectic Foundations uses the McGuffey's Second Eclectic Reader. This is a reader that can be printed for free from the internet. It has stories for your children to read along with a word list of words to go over that might be tricky for them.
Along with the McGuffey's Reader, there are also Word Cards that you and your child can work through. These are words that your child will use for vocabulary as well as parts of speech. I was reminded early in our use of these that some words can be used as multiple parts of speech, depending on how they are used in the sentence. For example, the word "kiss". It could be used as a noun, "I am going to give you a kiss." It could also be used as a verb, "I am going to kiss you."
Luckily, the Teacher's Guide let me know which part of speech each word was supposed to be. Then I just told the word in a sentence to help our son choose which part of speech it was. Words are just words, but words in the context of a sentence, gives the word more meaning. I felt that our son needed the context of sentences, so we added that.
We had fun with the word cards. He liked to color them to match which part of speech they are, but we didn't stop there.
In this picture, he is underlining the words from the story. He liked doing this more than I thought that he would. Maybe it was because he was able to write in his book, but either way it turned out to be a good activity for him. It really made him see that the words on the word cards were a part of something bigger.
Then we decided to play Tic-Tac-Toe with his word cards. He loved this - as you can see - because he won the first game!
Here we were playing another game with our word cards. I hid them around the room and he had to find them. Once he found a card, he had to read it to me and use it in a sentence. Then he had to tell me which part of speech that it was and color it accordingly.
Eclectic Foundations has word lists for your child to work through. Your child is to read through the list a few times until they are comfortable with them and then they are to write them down on the Phonics Practice Sheet. This isn't spelling, but helps them get used to writing and to recognize the words when they read them. The first time I got this sheet out, our son was SO excited to use it! He thought this was really cool! It was laminated so he was able to use our dry erase markers, which made it even better.
I was impressed with the handwriting portion of this program. There were Bible Verses as well as quotes from famous people for him to copy. We liked reading through the verses and quotes before he copied them. They were short, which he liked, so that it wasn't overwhelming to do, since he is still not very fast with his cursive. Being a lefty, he found it difficult to write in the spiral bound Student Workbook, so I just had him use regular paper.
Overall, we enjoyed this program. There were a lot of parts to it, but the Teacher's Guide made it very simple to go through and complete. It was laid out really well.
* It's a Complete Language Arts Program
* Teacher's Guide and a Student Guide are available
* VERY Cost Effective (Only $30 for the PDF version of the entire program!)
* I would have liked to see the Phonics words the same as the Word Cards. It was a little confusing for him to be working with 2 sets of words.