Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Primary Language Lessons

It has been requested that I share how we use Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl in our homeschool. I would love to share!!!!!

We started using PLL when Lee was in 3rd grade. It is suggested that you start in 2nd grade and do half in 2nd and half in 3rd. We didn't have both years so we zipped through it at a much quicker pace. I will share how I used it with Lee and then how I plan to use it next year with Greg (2 year span).

Lee is my "non-writer". He does not like to write. I don't push it (many of you realize that boys develop that particular motor skill a little later than girls sometimes). Most of the exercises were done orally, even when instructed to write them. We didn't do any of the memorizing. We used those selections as reading practice (Lee was a slower reader also). I would have Lee write about every 3rd writing/composition exercise. That meant that he was writing about once a week. I usually had him do the copywork lessons as written and sometimes we would use them as dictation. We did a lesson every day (skipping some here and there) and were able to finish the book in one year.

With Greg (next year) we will be stretching the book out over 2 years. He will be doing a lesson every other day (we school 4 days a week). The only time that the days will fall together will be when a copywork exercise is to be used for dictation. I want the copywork to be fresh in his mind when we do the dictation. I am also breaking some of the longer assignments up into several days. I don't want to burden him with too much information too quickly. This will take us about half-way through the book. I felt that it would be better to use the "shorter" half :) of the book this year and work a little harder next year on the "longer" half :) I will probably use most of the exercises orally for Greg as well. His writing is more advanced than his brother's was at this stage, but I don't want to push him to hate it. Most of the written exercises will be composition, copywork and dictation rather than the "answer the question" variety. Those can be just as easily answered and understood orally as written.

I really love Emma Serl's approach to grammar and writing for the early grades. The approach is gentle and thorough enough for our family. We look forward to using Intermediate Language Lessons next year with Lee (we took the year off from English grammar and concentrated on Latin this year). ILL is to be used over 3 years and we will be condensing it down into 2. I will be able to detail how that will work for our family after I get ahold of the book :)
If anyone has any more questions, please let me know!!!


KellyFro said...

I just came across your website while doing a search on Primary Language Lessons. I am curious...how is Lee's writing now that it has been over a year since you wrote that post? Now, with hindsight, do you think the book was helpful for Lee? My 8 yr old son sounds a lot like Lee and I am hoping to find something that will help him. Thank you for your time!

TMT said...

I'm curious if after using this with your boys, if you feel an 8yo 3rd grade girl that has had some grammar instruction with Rod and Staff could start with ILL? What about an interested 6/7yo 1st grade boy doing one lesson per week of PLL then picking up a little in 2nd grade with a goal to finish it in 3rd?

Thanks for any advice! deusprimoris@yahoo.com