We know you will love our curriculum! That is why we are offering the first four weeks of this level free of charge! We have also included the scope and sequence. This level uses the Revised McGuffey First Reader. You can download the (free) digital version or purchase the physical book. Here is a free pdf. of the phonics practice sheets and word cards or you may purchase the physical products from our store.
Each testimonial is linked to a blog review.
McGuffey's Revised First Eclectic Reader
The McGuffey’s section usually covers two lessons per week. Lessons involve reading the selection and answering comprehension questions or coloring word cards to coordinate with the parts of speech. One day is spent studying the picture and reading the words and the selection. The next day is for coloring word cards and reviewing parts of speech. Nouns are red, pronouns are pink, adjectives are orange, verbs are green, adverbs are yellow, prepositions are blue, conjunctions are purple, and interjections are black. Review lessons usually take an entire week and include different activities with the word cards.
This level continues to teach reading with Mrs. Akin's Word Mastery. Each lesson contains a short word list for your student to study and practice writing in the Phonics Practice Sheets. It is important to understand that these are not spelling tests. Don't hesitate to help your child spell the words if necessary. This process should not be frustrating. To better understand our technique, here is a direct quote from Mrs. Akin's Word Mastery:
"No diacritical marks are to be used. Pupils are taught to determine the sound of the vowel by its position in the word and by its associate letters. When pupils learn to read by means of diacritical marks their reading for the first year or more must be largely confined to the reader from which they are taught. The method presented in this book gives the pupil immediate mastery of a word taught and the words of its family, regardless of where he may find them. Diacritical marks should not be taught until pupils are sufficiently advanced to use the dictionary.
Pupils should be taxed with the fewest possible rules. In this course only those are used which are simplest and most necessary for word-recognition. Do not require pupils to memorize them; frequent application of the principles involved will insure a thorough knowledge of them.”
We love the natural approach that Mrs. Akin uses to teach reading and have kept with her original style of teaching. Diacritical marks and phonetic rules are introduced along with spelling lessons in Level D.
One cursive example of each letter is provided above each handwriting practice page. If additional assistance is needed, you can write the letter with a highlighter for your student to trace. This program allows the flexibility to teach a different style of cursive if you wish. Copywork is provided after all the letters are covered. The quotes to be written are shown in print. You will need to demonstrate these in cursive until your child is ready to attempt copywork indepently. This will happen at different times for each child. You know best when your child is ready to be challenged in this area.
Each week, there is a different poem to read to your student. You should help them recognize the rhyming words and circle them. It may be helpful to use different color crayons to circle the different sets of rhyming words. Often a pattern can be detected by doing this. Comprehension questions are then asked to your student.
Sadly, children today suffer from lack of grammar instruction. It was my goal to start my children with grammar instruction as early as possible. After searching high and low, I found First Lessons in English to be the perfect fit for this level. The lessons are short and easy to teach. I knew I had to include it. Don’t worry if your student doesn’t completely grasp all of the concepts taught. This level teaches a little above grade level. As a result, many of the workbook exercises will need to be read to your student and will require a lot of assistance on your part. The idea is to expose your student to advanced grammar concepts while simultaneously strengthening their reading ability. You will find that the McGuffey’s word cards and the grammar lessons compliment each other well.
This program contains constant references to Bible stories, and is designed to teach outstanding character at every turn. Eclectic Foundations will not replace your current Bible curriculum, but isn't it nice to have a language arts program that won't work against your values? That cannot be said about many secular programs.
Enjoy a few more reviews and videos:
I was looking for a language arts program to introduce my two first graders to the grammatical parts of language. I was becoming discouraged until I found Eclectic Foundations. This carefully crafted program not only introduced my children to the parts of language with a fun color-coordinated approach but my children thrived in their new-found knowledge of grammar. It was exciting to see their expressions of joy as they learned through this intriguing approach. Eclectic Foundations over-exceeded in meeting my needs in the area that I was really hoping to teach my children and for that I am so thankful.
I was also very excited to see my kindergartener improve dramatically with her reading skills by using Eclectic Foundations’ approach to reading. She loved the mazes, tic tac toe game, and the smiley faces. These enrichment activities all made this program very fun engaging.
Thank you Eclectic Foundations for helping my children build a solid foundation in language arts. We are forever thankful.
I've been homeschooling 12 years so far with three kids (ages 16,14, and 9). I started with Level B when my youngest was 8 because I hadn't been pleased with ANY of the LA programs (5-6 programs) we had used up to that point. I am super pleased with Eclectic Foundations. My daughter loves this program and I love her strong grammar, reading comprehension, and handwriting skills! She loves the poetry section and the length/challenge of the writing sections are just the right amount (none of which we ever found with previous programs). My oldest was quite indignant one day when he overheard my youngest going thru the lesson for the day: "Mom! WHY didn't you use this when we were little?! This is so much easier to understand than what we had to do!" (Well, I would have but it wasn't written yet!).
I highly recommend starting with Level A if your child is not a fluent reader or Level B even if your child is a fluent reader. The levels don't correspond to grade levels but rather level of difficulty. Experience has taught me that it's better to start off with an easy level and work up to the harder stuff, rather than starting with something too hard and having to backtrack. You can always do two lessons per day if your child finds most of it easy. There is so much meat at the first two levels, you don't want to skip it. I only wish I had Eclectic Foundations 12 years ago!
--Suzette May, Homeschool Mom and Professional Proofreader.