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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Eclectic Foundations

Language Arts {Eclectic Foundations }


One of the reasons that I love reviewing products for the Homeschool Review Crew is finding out about companies and products that I have never heard of before.  When I saw Eclectic Foundations on our vendor list I went straight to the website to check them out.  I loved the sound of their product and was very excited to have an opportunity to review Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level B.


Language Arts {Eclectic Foundations }
Eclectic Foundations teaches phonics, spelling, grammar, reading comprehension, handwriting, composition, and poetry all in one curriculum.  Each level contains 144 short lessons designed to be completed 4 days a week for 36 weeks. Eclectic Foundations uses textbooks that were used successfully in education for many years such as McGuffey's Readers, The Bible, and First Lessons in  English. 

There are currently three levels: A,B, and C.  Level D is scheduled for release in April.  Each of the levels come with a consumable student workbook, Teacher's Guide, word cards, and phonics practice sheets.  The student workbook, teacher book, and phonics practice sheet books are spiral bound.  The word cards are printed on heavy cardstock.  You will also need a copy of the corresponding McGuffey Revised Reader for you level.  The readers can be purchased as a physical copy or you can find digital versions online for free. Other supplies you will need include a box to keep your word cards in, crayons, scissors, pen or pencil, and some basic craft supplies.  A white board can be used by the teacher or if you don't have one you can write on a piece of paper.


I chose to use Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level B with my 7 year old daughter.  I chose this level because even though the reading would be beneath her abilities, I wanted her to start writing in cursive and we have had very little grammar instruction.  You can find information on choosing which level to start with here.  We spend around 30 minutes a day 4 days a week on Eclectic Foundations.

Here is Lily coloring and making sentences out of her word cards,


Each lesson follows a similar format.  First your student works on the assignment from McGuffey's.  They will either read the words and selection in the reader and answer some questions about it, or color the word cards to add to their word box.  The student colors the words according to what part of speech they are.  Nouns are colored red, adjectives orange, verbs green, prepositions blue, adverbs yellow and pronouns pink.  Next the student does a phonics lesson reading the words on the lesson list and writing them on their phonics practice sheet.  Then the student works on handwriting/copywork.  In Level B they start by learning the cursive alphabet and move on to copying short sentences in the student workbook.  The next part of the lesson is poetry.  The teacher reads a stanza or two of the poem and the student circles the rhyming words.  Some days have a hands on activity related to the poem for the student to do. There are a few comprehension questions about the poem that the student answers aloud.  The last part of the lesson is grammar.  Some of the lessons have the teacher reading things aloud ,writing them on the board , and having the student answer while other lessons have a worksheet for the student to complete. 

This was a craft to go with a poem on boats.

I have been very impressed with Eclectic Foundations.  The lessons are short and easy to teach.  The Teacher's Guide tells you exactly what to say and do.  The answers to the questions  are right on the page that you are teaching from.  Each lesson builds on previous knowledge and reviews concepts that have been taught.  I love that poetry is included.  We memorize poetry as a family, but I like that it is exposing Lily to more poetry and has her answering questions about the poems that we are reading.  I have always loved the selections in the McGuffey Readers and was happy to have a language arts program that used them.  I have really liked the grammar lessons as well. I think the exercise of coloring the words by type helps children to learn and recognize the parts of speech easier.  Lily enjoys the lessons every day.

The poetry is in the student workbook.

The only thing that I wish was a little different is the handwriting.  Level B starts cursive.  The child does a new letter daily both capital and lowercase in alphabetical order.  The last line on the page is a space to review previous letters.  I wish that that the letters were taught in an order to start writing some simple words and that there was practice writing simple words.  After the alphabet short quotes are given but in the example they are written in print.  It says that parents can write the selection in a highlighter and then the student can trace it, but I think it would be easier if they had more practice writing words in cursive and then moving on to writing the quotes.  It would be helpful if they were also written in cursive.  

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!



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